Tribpedia: Joe Straus

Analysis: Primaries Could Hush Reps. Stickland, Martinez Fischer

State Reps. Jonathan Stickland (left), R-Bedford, and Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, are seen as gadflies by many of their colleagues in the Texas House. Both are locked in tough 2016 primary battles.
State Reps. Jonathan Stickland (left), R-Bedford, and Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, are seen as gadflies by many of their colleagues in the Texas House. Both are locked in tough 2016 primary battles.

Republican Jonathan Stickland and Democrat Trey Martinez Fischer, the noisiest pot-stirrers in the Texas House, are in tough March 1 primary contests. Each man is his own best argument, and his worst one.

Republican candidates incumbent Byron Cook, left, and Thomas McNutt, right, run in the 2016 election for Texas House District 8.
Republican candidates incumbent Byron Cook, left, and Thomas McNutt, right, run in the 2016 election for Texas House District 8.

Bongs, Fruitcakes Energize Central Texas House Race

Fourteen years after first being elected to the Texas House, state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, faces what some consider his toughest primary battle to date. Thomas McNutt is trying to unseat the incumbent using wedge issues such as immigration and Cook's support for House Speaker Joe Straus

House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, campaigns for re-election at The Barn Door restaurant in San Antonio on Jan. 21, 2016.
House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, campaigns for re-election at The Barn Door restaurant in San Antonio on Jan. 21, 2016.

In Re-Election Bid, Straus Faces Familiar Tea Party Attacks

House Speaker Joe Straus finds himself in a familiar position, fending off Tea Party primary challenges to hold his San Antonio seat and, presumably, his grip on the gavel. However, there's little indication his far-right challengers in the March 1 GOP primary are in any position to unseat him from House District 121.

Greg Abbott gives the closing keynote at the 2016 Texas Public Policy Foundation Policy Orientation on Jan. 8, 2016.
Greg Abbott gives the closing keynote at the 2016 Texas Public Policy Foundation Policy Orientation on Jan. 8, 2016.

GOP Leaders Mostly Quiet on Abbott Plan to Amend Constitution

Three days after Gov. Greg Abbott called for a convention of states to dramatically amend the U.S. Constitution, few high-ranking Republicans in Texas have publicly backed his proposal. Their silence underscores the divisions among conservative grassroots about Abbott's plan. 

Clockwise, from top left: Republican state Reps. Tony Tinderholt of Arlington, John Frullo of Lubbock, Byron Cook of Corsicana and Matt Rinaldi of Irving.
Clockwise, from top left: Republican state Reps. Tony Tinderholt of Arlington, John Frullo of Lubbock, Byron Cook of Corsicana and Matt Rinaldi of Irving.

Analysis: The Future of the Texas House Could Be Seen in Eight Races

Will bragging rights in the Republican primaries for Texas House seats go to the management now in place or to those opposed to the current leaders? Watching these races involving incumbents will provide some answers.

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the Flawn Academic Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus on Nov. 6, 2012.
Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the Flawn Academic Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus on Nov. 6, 2012.

Analysis: For Many Candidates, Election is No Contest

Now that the political candidates have filed, some of the races in the 2016 election cycle have come to an end. It's not that the elections are over, but 75 federal and state lawmakers don't have any major-party opponents. 

The 2015 Texas Tribune Festival's keynote sessions included one-on-one conversations with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (clockwise, from top left), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. There was also a panel discussion on the 2016 presidential race.
The 2015 Texas Tribune Festival's keynote sessions included one-on-one conversations with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (clockwise, from top left), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. There was also a panel discussion on the 2016 presidential race.

2015 Tribune Festival: Videos of the Keynote Sessions

During the keynote sessions of the 2015 Texas Tribune Festival, we featured one-on-one conversations with Dan PatrickJoe Straus, Nancy Pelosi and Julián Castro. You can watch those interviews and videos of our other keynote sessions here.

House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Analysis: Republicans, Party of Two

When one party overwhelms the two-party system, it tends to develop into a two-faction party. That's the case with the Texas Republican Party — as you can see by who the speaker of the Texas House and the lieutenant governor are backing in the presidential race.

On Nov. 3, Texas voters will be asked to consider Proposition 7, a constitutional amendment created to address the state’s growing transportation needs. This photo shows traffic in Dallas.
On Nov. 3, Texas voters will be asked to consider Proposition 7, a constitutional amendment created to address the state’s growing transportation needs. This photo shows traffic in Dallas.

Texans to Decide on Transportation Funding with Prop 7

As Texas' transportation needs multiply, voters in the rapidly growing state will be asked Nov. 3 to consider a way to pay for those needs. Under Prop. 7, the state comptroller would direct some of the taxes collected on car sales to the State Highway Fund, which is used to maintain and construct public roadways and bridges.

State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, debates an amendment to SB19, an ethics bill on May 26, 2015.
State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, debates an amendment to SB19, an ethics bill on May 26, 2015.

Analysis: Patrick Makes Sure An Old Bill Comes Due

Legislation that would have blocked public employees from paying union or association dues with paycheck deductions failed last session. But the Senate is reopening the issue, and it could play against a powerful House chairman up for reelection next year.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus listened to a Jan. 13, 2015, speech by a fellow member nominating him for another term as speaker.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus listened to a Jan. 13, 2015, speech by a fellow member nominating him for another term as speaker.

Analysis: Winning by Packing the Ballot

It should come as no surprise when political plotters and schemers try to pack a primary election to force an incumbent into a runoff. Their hope is that the runoff's greater concentration of partisan voters will be harder on the incumbents.