The 83rd session of the Texas Legislature opens for business on Tuesday and one of the first issues they face is the race for Speaker of the House.
And the biggest challenge comes from a local representative.
The odds are against him, but District 7 Representative David Simpson says defeating Speaker Joe Straus is important.
The question is, how many of his colleagues agree?
Many Republican members of the Texas House have been unhappy with the leadership of Speaker Joe Straus.
Despite being seen by some as too moderate, the opposition has very few smoking guns.
And Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune says, it’s tough to knock off a Speaker.
But periodically, challenges have popped up.
The latest came from Representatives Bryan Hughes and David Simpson.
Hughes has given up the fight, but Simpson is poised to force a vote on the opening day of the session.
It’s a vote, many of his colleagues don’t want.
Because, if you challenge the Speaker and fail, there’s a lot to lose.
“The first thing the new speaker is going to do is name people to committees,” Ramsey says, “and decide who gets to be in the leadership and who gets to be on the committees they want and who doesn’t. And you choose initially from the people who supported you. That’s just a natural political impulse.”
But the outcome in the Speaker’s race isn’t much in doubt.
“It looks like Simpson wants them to vote on this,” Ramsey told KETK. “He’s the only official candidate against Joe Straus, and to outsiders like me, it looks like he has fewer than two dozen votes.”