Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus Announces He Won’t Run for Re-Election
Wednesday morning, a bombshell was dropped on the Texas Legislature as current Speaker of the House Joe Straus announced he will not run for re-election in 2018.
Straus has had a stranglehold on the Speaker's position in the House since first being voted as Speaker of the House in January 2009. He was first elected to the Texas House in a special election in February 2005.
In a post on Facebook, Rep. Straus said, "I believe that in a representative democracy, those who serve in public office should do so for a time, not for a lifetime. And so I want you to know that my family and I have decided that I will not run for re-election next year. My time as a State Representative and as Speaker will end at the conclusion of my current term.
"Just as my ascension to the Speaker’s office was unconventional and my approach to governing is unusual in these divisive times, I know this is also an unexpected decision. It’s been decades since someone has left the Speaker’s office on his own terms. But we have accomplished what I had hoped the House would accomplish when I first entered this office, and I am increasingly eager to contribute to our state in new and different ways," he said.
Just after 11:30am, Governor Greg Abbott released a brief statement. “Joe Straus has served with distinction for both the people in his district and for the Texas House of Representatives,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank Speaker Straus for his service and for his commitment to the State of Texas. Cecilia and I wish Joe and Julie all the best.”
State Representative Dustin Burrows (HD-83, R- Lubbock) also issued a statement after Rep. Straus made his announcement, "I thank the Speaker for his many years of service to Texas, and I wish he and his family the best for the future. Going forward into the next legislative session, I hope our next House Speaker is a conservative from West Texas."
With Straus' departure from the Texas Legislature there will be a free-for-all during the next Legislative session for the election of speaker.