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Texas Legislature 2019

Here's a look at who's interested in replacing Straus as House speaker

Despite all the focus on November, many in Texas politics are keeping a close eye on January. That's when the 150-member Texas House will pick its new House speaker.

The chamber of the Texas House

In October, House Speaker Joe Straus announced he wouldn't be running for re-election in 2018 — a move likely to shake up Texas politics for years.

"I believe that in a representative democracy, those who serve in public office should do so for a time, not for a lifetime. And so I want you to know that my family and I have decided that I will not run for re-election next year," Straus said in a campaign email at the time.

Straus' announcement immediately set off a scramble among members who are considering replacing him at the chamber's dais. Within hours, several members announced an interest in the seat. Since then, the number of potential contenders has continued to rise. And in late August, Republicans Travis Clardy of Nachodoches and Drew Darby of San Angelo became the fifth and sixth candidates to file with the Texas Ethics Commission to officially enter the race.

The House elects its speaker on the first day of each regular legislative session. The vote to replace Straus is set for the start of the 86th legislative session on Jan. 8, 2019. If history is any guide, the race could ultimately draw a dozen or more potential candidates.

Here’s a look at who’s already filed paperwork to run for the speaker’s seat and lawmakers who’ve publicly said they have no interest in running:

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Politics State government 86th Legislative Session Eric Johnson Joe Straus Phil King Texas House of Representatives Travis Clardy