Tribpedia: 2011 House Speaker's Race

The process of selecting a speaker is the most critical factor in how the Texas House operates because the speaker has concentrated power and selects committee chairmen, who can help ease or slow the passage of legislation.

The 2011 House Speaker's race began in earnest on the day after the Nov. 2, 2010, general election, in which House Republicans ...

HuTube: Behind the Scenes on Day One

In our latest HuTube video blog post, we take you to the Texas House on day one of the 82nd Legislative session. Come with us as we go through the new security system, visit with lawmakers and witness the election of the House Speaker.
State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs.
State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs.

TribBlog: The First Non-Vote

After winning a rough and tumble contest for his seat, freshman state Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, got his first chance at a record vote in the Texas House of Representatives today. And when that vote finally came, what did he do? He abstained.

Wallace Jefferson swearing in Joe Straus at the 82nd Legislative Session.
Wallace Jefferson swearing in Joe Straus at the 82nd Legislative Session.

TribBlog: Straus in the House

The Texas House formally re-elected San Antonio Republican Speaker Joe Straus. By acclamation, they chose to stick with the moderate, "will-of-the-House" speaker as opposed to overthrowing him with someone more conservative.  

House Speaker Joe  Straus, R-Alamo Heights, in January 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus, R-Alamo Heights, in January 2011.

Decision Time

The Texas Legislature today starts its 140-day effort to puzzle out a massive budget deficit, political redistricting, immigration and a slew of other gnarly problems. The budget issues came into focus Monday with new numbers from the comptroller, who says the state is recovering, slowly, from the recession. But first, legislators will get organized, voting on new rules, a new Speaker, and getting sworn in.

State Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, after failing to win the endorsement of GOP caucus members for House speaker on Jan. 10, 2011.
State Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, after failing to win the endorsement of GOP caucus members for House speaker on Jan. 10, 2011.

TribBlog: Paxton Still In Speaker Race

State Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, will stay in the race for speaker tomorrow though he got spanked in the Republican Caucus today. More than two-thirds of the caucus membes expressed their support for Speaker Joe Straus in a non-binding preference poll conducted behind closed doors. 

Straus: Speaker's Race "Overanalyzed"

Despite loud protests from Tea Party groups that pushed for a more conservative leader, the Texas House Republican Caucus endorsed incumbent Speaker Joe Straus in an afternoon vote. Straus, appearing after the meeting, said the notion of a speaker's race was "overstudied and overanalyzed."
House Speaker Joe Straus entering a GOP House caucus meeting on January 10, 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus entering a GOP House caucus meeting on January 10, 2011.

TribBlog: Republicans for Straus

House Speaker Joe Straus has the support of the House 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.

Inside Intelligence: The House Republican Caucus Will...

For the year's first installment of our nonscientific survey of political and policy insiders on issues of the moment, we asked whether Joe Straus would win another term as speaker, whether the next speaker should share power with the Democrats when doling out committee chairmanships and other assignments and whether the Republican Caucus is the right forum for picking the leader of the House.

Governor candidate Debra Medina greets visitors at the Fort Bend County Chamber of Commerce prior to her speech in a heavily Republican area of Houston on Thursday.
Governor candidate Debra Medina greets visitors at the Fort Bend County Chamber of Commerce prior to her speech in a heavily Republican area of Houston on Thursday.

TribBlog: Medina Prefers Straus to "Iron Fist" Leaders

Republicans might not all like House Speaker Joe Straus, but he's got a better chance than his predecessor to lead the House to "fiscally responsible, limited and just government," according to Debra Medina, the conservative activist and former Republican gubernatorial candidate.

Members of the freshmen class of 2011 at their new member orientation in December 2010.
Members of the freshmen class of 2011 at their new member orientation in December 2010.

Green House

The biggest caucus in the Texas House is the Republicans', now with 101 members. Next? The Democrats', at 49. And then there’s the freshman class — one of the biggest in years — with 38 members. All but six are Republicans, and many of them replaced Democrats. They face some challenges.

Now What?

Texas alternates election years with governing years, with legislative sessions set in the odd-numbered years after voters choose their leaders. There are variations, but it’s got a rhythm: Choose them, watch them govern, choose, watch. The elections behind us, it’s time to see what this particular bunch will do.

State Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney
State Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney

TribBlog: Four for Paxton

Add four East Texas state representatives to Rep. Ken Paxton's list, bringing the McKinney Republican closer to a dozen-and-a-half votes in his quest for 76. Paxton is challenging Speaker Joe Straus for the top job.