State Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, will stay in the race for speaker tomorrow, though he got spanked in the Republican Caucus today. House Republicans gave 70 votes to Speaker Joe Straus in a non-binding preference poll conducted behind closed doors. There were 100 Republicans present for that vote, leaving only 30 for Paxton and for Warren Chisum of Pampa, Straus' other challenger. No vote was taken to see which one the 30 would have chosen.

But now they won't have to.

Chisum has apparently decided not to put his name in the hat for the official vote when the House convenes tomorrow. But Paxton issued a statement this evening thanking Chisum for joining his side and saying he'll remain in the contest. His press release:

On the eve of tomorrow's official vote for Speaker, I’m proud to have the support of my good friend Warren Chisum. He has waged a valiant and principled fight with honor and distinction.

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Texans who provided us with our historic governing mandate should be embraced and welcomed into the process. They deserve openness and transparency — including a public vote — and that is why I will remain a candidate for Speaker on the floor of the Texas House.

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