Let the Race Begin

The House speaker candidates are off and running

Will Tom Craddick be House speaker for the 81st session? He's filed his paperwork to run again, but after a disastrous session and the election losses of several close allies, reps are lining up to oust him. Accord­ing to the Texas Ethics Commission, as of Nov. 10, nine candidates had officially filed to run. Four Republicans (including Craddick) and five Democrats were in, but no consensus candidate has emerged. (There's still time: The vote won't come until the first day of the session, Jan. 13.) The decision may rest with the Craddick Ds – the 14 Dems who voted for him last session. While most have publicly broken with him since, Craddick has also made a gain: returning conservative Democrat Al Edwards, who got his old HD 146 seat back from one-termer Borris Miles during the primaries. Mean­while, Craddick loyalist Kino Flores, D-Palm­view, has other concerns: The House Licens­ing and Administration Committee chairman is being investigated by the Travis Co. district attorney over claims he illegally received free flights from racetrack owners.

House Speaker Candidates (So Far)

Republican

Tom Craddick (Midland)

Delwin Jones (Lubbock)

James L. Keffer (Eastland)

Tommy Merritt (Longview)

Democrat

Pete Gallego (Alpine)

Scott Hochberg (Houston)

Senfronia Thompson (Houston)

Allan Ritter (Nederland)

Sylvester Turner (Houston)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

election, House speaker race, Tom Craddick, Al Edwards, Kino Flores

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