Craddick's Grip Goosed

Who'll be the next House speaker?

House Speaker Tom Craddick had a good night on Nov. 4, seeing off Democratic challenger Bill Dingus in his Midland House District 82 seat 62%-35%. But keeping his seat and keeping his speaker's gavel are different issues. His grip on power may have loosened with the departure of several loyalists and the defeat of chosen candidates such as Round Rock's Bryan Daniel and El Paso's Dee Margo. Moderate Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, who has already claimed he has the votes to replace Craddick as speaker next session, released a statement Tuesday night stating, "Bipartisanship has won a clear victory tonight in the Texas House of Representatives." Claiming he had a "consensus group of Republicans behind my candidacy," he asked the House Democratic caucus to back his quest for the gavel. In his own statement, Democratic caucus Chair Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, echoed the bipartisan sentiment and said: "Tom Craddick lost a vote of confidence. Change is coming." But whether that change is Keffer or not remains to be seen. Seven Democrats and an unknown number of Republicans have been making their own phone calls, trying to rustle up support for their own speakership candidacy among members of both parties. Meanwhile, Dunnam, appearing at a Democratic press conference Wednesday, quipped, "I've got a real problem today – I just can't stop smiling."

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Legislature
Lege, Statewide, and Beyond
Lege, Statewide, and Beyond
What does Trump's toxicity mean for downballot races?

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 26, 2016

Belt-Tightening Season for State Agencies
Belt-Tightening Season for State Agencies
State leaders announce budget cuts

Richard Whittaker, July 8, 2016

More by Richard Whittaker
Life as a War Boy
Life as a War Boy
Dressing as Furiosa's most disposable characters

May 24, 2024

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
The story is lacking but the spectacle is stupendous

May 24, 2024


Legislature, election, Tom Craddick, Jim Dunnam

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle