The Austin American-Statesman reports that State Representative Scott Turner, a Republican freshman from the Dallas area, has filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission to run for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Turner will challenge Joe Straus, the ostensibly moderate Republican speaker, who has held office since 2009 and will (we assume) be seeking a fourth term as Speaker next year. Turner is also noteworthy as one of just a handful of African-American Republican officeholders in this State, as well as a former NFL Player (he played for the Redskins, Chargers and Broncos, from 1995 to 2003).
“I am excited to announce I have just filed to run for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives for the 84th Legislative Session. God bless Texas,” Turner wrote in a Facebook post. Turner, unlike some other controversial members, is not especially known for overly firebrand conservatism and confrontational style (like, for example, Van Taylor). Still, he is an unapologetic member of the Tea Party and will surely be seeking to defeat Straus from the right.
Turner made no mention of Straus, and was otherwise not reached when the papers tried to get a statement out of him. Joe Straus responded, in turn, with a statement that did not mention Turner –or any other challenge, for that matter– by name as well. Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News:
“Speaker Straus is focused on serving his constituents and supporting his colleagues as they build on the successes of the 2013 legislative session, including a balanced budget, tax relief, education reform and historic action to address our water crisis,” recounted a representative of Straus’ office.
I will post more updates when I have them, but for now, get ready for yet another exciting ride to next January. Between a Tea Party Speaker and someone like Dan Patrick, for example, as Lieutenant Governor, the Democrats could really be in for a rough ride. Scary times, indeed.