Dead Man Gaveling!

Someone is after Speaker Craddick's job.

After the widely reported rumor last week that House Speaker Tom Craddick might be facing a coup d'etat, the rumor has now become fact. Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, is officially throwing his hat in the ring.

No immediate throw-down, though. Keffer has said that he doesn't expect Smilin' Tom to stand down now – just not stand as speaker again next session. He's telling all various and sundry characters that he's speaking for the majority of House Republicans when he says it's time for a change in that big seat at the top of the chamber.

There's a dash of weirdness about this: Craddick is a fearsome fundraiser, and it would seem bold of Keffer to make his announcement now – after all, a lot of GOP House hopefuls may end up deeply indebted to Craddick after the next election. That is, of course, if the next session isn't until its regular slot of 2009. If the dimly threatened summer special session that Gov. Rick Perry was muttering about over transport happens, then Keffer might be marshaling his forces a lot sooner than that.

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