Vol 31, Issue 47 Print Issue

Rep. Scott Turner to Challenge Straus for House Speaker

House Speaker Joe Straus (l) faces a challenge from Frisco state Rep. Scott Turner
House Speaker Joe Straus (l) faces a challenge from Frisco state Rep. Scott Turner

Updated, 3:12 p.m.:

Jason Embry, spokesman for House Speaker Joe Straus, responded to the news of Turner's speaker candidacy with the following statement:

"Speaker Straus is focused on serving his constituents and supporting his colleagues as they build on the successes of the 2013 legislative session, including a balanced budget, tax relief, education reform and historic action to address our water crisis."

Original story:

State Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, said on Friday that he has filed to run for House speaker, challenging incumbent Joe Straus, R-San Antonio.

“I’m really excited about the possibility to serve our members and to help them as they serve our constituency as I serve mine continuingly,” Turner said.

Turner, who was first elected in 2012, confirmed to The Texas Tribune that he filed early Friday. He first announced his candidacy on his Facebook page.

"I’m excited about the future of our state, and I’m excited about the opportunity to set forth a vision for our state going forward," Turner said.

Straus won the job away from Tom Craddick, R-Midland, at the beginning of the 2009 legislative session and fended off a serious challenge from Ken Paxton, R-McKinney (now a state senator running for attorney general) two years later. Speakers are elected by the 150 members of the House; adding Turner as an alternative to Straus gives candidates and voters an opportunity, if they want to take it, to make the 2015 race for speaker a debating point in this year's elections.