So will he or won't he? Speculation is growing that state Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, will soon switch parties, giving the Republicans the supermajority they were barely denied on Election Night. Paul Burka blogged about the possibility earlier this week, pulled the post and then put up something tonight after Peña called him from out of town to say that he was indeed contemplating his options:
“I am taking it under consideration,” he told me from Phoenix. “When I get home to Texas on Tuesday, I’ll talk to people. What concerns me is, How do you function as a super minority? I’m concerned the Democrats will be irrelevant. I’m considering every option. What is the best way to help my constituents?”
“I am who I am and my intention is to represent my community and to give them the best possible advantage under the current environment.”
A switch by Peña would give the GOP 100 seats in the Texas House and leave Democrats with an even 50. Peña would become the second Democrat to switch parties in the last year, following the lead of state Rep. Chuck Hopson, R-Jacksonville. He would also become the sixth Hispanic Republican in the House; the party had none in the 81st legislative session.