Speaker's Original Band of 11 Shrinks to Four

State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, will give up the office he has held in the Texas House since 1993, which means Speaker Joe Straus will need a new chief budget writer in 2015. It also means that yet another member of the Polo Road Gang is gone.

That gang of 11 Republicans, including Straus, met at state Rep. Byron Cook’s Austin residence (on Polo Road) in January 2009 to talk about a challenge to Tom Craddick, R-Midland, who was then the House speaker. Of the 10 who were in actual attendance — and another on a long-distance telephone line ...

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