The Brief: Top Texas News for Dec. 4, 2012

State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, delivers a personal privilege speech at the end of the House session on June 29, 2011.
State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, delivers a personal privilege speech at the end of the House session on June 29, 2011.

The Big Conversation:

The race for speaker of the House may have just gotten a lot more interesting.

State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, told the Tribune late Monday that he is considering a bid against incumbent Joe Straus, R-San Antonio.

"I have not made a decision. People have asked me to run, yes," said Simpson, one of the most conservative members of the Legislature. "I’m praying about it. And I'll do the right thing."

A bid by Simpson, who was just elected to his second term, would set up a three-way race for speaker. Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, has mounted his own candidacy, attracting the support of Tea Party activists and conservative groups like FreedomWorks. As of last month, however, no House members had publicly committed their support to him.

Asked Monday whether he was considering withdrawing from the race, Hughes said he was "in it to win it." 

Simpson, who made a name for himself last session as a renegade willing to challenge House tradition and Republican leadership, recently told the Austin American-Statesman that he thought Hughes was "a good man and solidly conservative."

But Simpson also said he thought the race was still far from over.

"This thing is pretty wide open in my estimation," he said. "And I think that is a pretty good thing."

Culled:

  • Mother Jones reported Monday that Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey has resigned as chairman of FreedomWorks, the national Tea Party group. Armey, who represented Texas in Congress, declined to say what went exactly went wrong between him and the group, but the relationship appears to have soured. "The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life," Armey said. "At this point, I don't want to get into the details. I just want to go on with my life." Armey demanded that the group remove his name and image "from all its letters, print media, postings, web sites, videos, testimonials, endorsements, fund raising materials, and social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter" and return his congressional portrait.
  • Two Texans are among a trio of Hispanic megadonors set to launch a group aiming to mobilize support for the Obama administration's immigration proposals, according to Politico. The trio includes Corpus Christi-born actress Eva Longoria, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention this year, and San Antonio architect Henry Muñoz.
  • Rick Perry is scheduled to guest host CNBC's business news program Squawk Box this morning, the governor's office announced Monday. The program will air from 6 to 8 a.m.

"It’s just a fact, it’s not an excuse. We passed tort reform in Texas, so we can’t actually sue the doctors for what they told him." — Dave Carney, Rick Perry's longtime political strategist, on the back pain that plagued the governor during his presidential run

Must-Read:

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