House Speaker Joe Straus has the support of that chamber's Republican legislative caucus, which met on the afternoon before the legislative session to take the measure of the incumbent and two challengers: Warren Chisum of Pampa and Ken Paxton of McKinney.
With all but one of the 101 Republicans in the House present, 70 stood up to show their support for Straus in the closed meeting, according to legisaltors who were inside. With that done, there was no reason to check the support for the other two candidates.
The official vote is tomorrow, when there will also be 49 Democrats in the room. It's not yet clear whether the two challengers will press forward, knowing that only 30 percent of the caucus is in the mood for a change at the top. Neither Chisum nor Paxton was immediately available for comment.
The Democrats weren't in the room, and if none of the Republicans flip to Straus, he'll need at least a half dozen from the other party to win; it takes 76 votes to make a majority in the House, and he's got 70.
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