Billy Clayton, D-Springlake, served as Speaker of the Texas House from 1975-83, starting a run of speakers who served more than the historic two-terms-and-out.
Clayton, 1928-2007, was a conservative Democrat. He served four terms as speaker, and was a legislator from 1963-83. He switched to the GOP after leaving the House and lent his support to Republicans like Gov. Bill Clements of Dallas.
He made a deal with minority urban Democrats on redistricting in 1981 that cut out liberal Anglo Democrats and preserved the power, for a while, of rural and mostly conservative members like himself. After leaving the House, he was an influential lobbyist and advisor to lawmakers and other politicians.
While he was speaker, Clayton was indicted after a federal "Brilab" investigation on charges he took money in exchange for votes. He was acquitted and won another term in the House and another term as speaker. He sponsored a set of ethics reforms and later, as a lobbyist, pushed lawmakers to broaden campaign finance reporting.