Keffer Targets Craddick

It's Eastland against Midland for the speakership

It's scarcely a secret that a swathe of House Democrats and Republicans hope that Speaker Tom Craddick's gavel-swinging days are over. But now, in a pretty brazen step, Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, has announced that it's a done deal, and he may well be the new sherriff in town

"Within 24 hours of the polls closing after Tuesday's historic election, I predict there will be a new consensus choice for Texas House Speaker," he wrote in a press release. He explains that he spent the last year talking to both Democrat and Republican reps about the future, and it sounds like he thinks he has the votes to take the speaker's seat come January.

This comes after Democratic House Caucus Leader Jim Dunnam has already said that Craddick is out as speaker. Plus, as Burnt Orange Report has noticed, Craddick has had to pour $1.5 million of his own cash into his state house race to see off Dem Bill Dingus. Tough times for the man from Midland.

Of course, if the Dems take the House, then Keffer better hope that some of those GOP votes are from people that kept their seats.

Speaker Craddick (l) and speaker-hopeful Keffer

Jim Keffer Announces Election Night Countdown For New Texas House Speaker – Keffer has traveled state extensively the past year meeting with House members and candidates

Austin, Texas, Wednesday, October 29, 2008 – "The times they are a-changing," announced State Representative Jim Keffer (R-Eastland).

"Within 24 hours of the polls closing after Tuesday's historic election, I predict there will be a new consensus choice for Texas House Speaker."

Keffer said he plans to consolidate his Republican and Democratic support for Texas House Speaker on election night, Tuesday, November 4th.

"I will begin updating the press beginning at 8:00 p.m. on election night," said Keffer.

Keffer has extensively traveled the state this past year meeting with House members and state house candidates, often times spending the night with them in their homes.

After meeting with House members in their districts, Keffer said he is "100% sure a new Speaker for the Texas House of Representatives will be chosen for next session."

According to Keffer, "regardless of how the Republican and Democrat numbers change in the Texas House, there is a majority desire for a new Speaker."

"The sentiment for change is not personal, members in the Texas House just want bipartisan leadership which is committed to restoring the rules of conduct and fairness" Keffer stated.

"Those who served last session remember all too well the four months of absolute chaos that preceded Craddick's last minute claim of absolute authority."

"The issues and challenges before Texas are all too serious to repeat this chaotic journey again."

Keffer said he has offered one important promise to his House colleagues, "I will be a Speaker for the members, not the special interests."

Keffer said he also supports a three term limit on the Speaker's post and strongly favors returning to House rules on seniority to insure fairness in committee appointments.

"When I came to Austin, there was an orderly process to the House," Keffer said. "Its time to "heed the call" and put our state House back together."

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Election 2008, Elections, Tom Craddick, Jim Keffer, House Speaker, Jim Dunnam

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