In a surprise move, House Speaker Joe Straus announced Wednesday he does not plan to run for re-election in 2018 — a move that could shake up Texas politics for years.
“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,” Straus said in a campaign email.
Straus’ announcement immediately set off a scramble among members who are considering replacing him at the chamber’s dais. Within hours, several members announced an interest in the seat.
The House elects its speaker on the first day of each regular legislative session. The vote to replace Straus is set for the start of the 86th legislative session on Jan. 8, 2019. If history is any guide, the race could draw a dozen or more potential candidates before then.
Here’s a look at who’s already filed paperwork to run for the speaker’s seat and lawmakers who’ve expressed interest in a potential run:
Source: Texas Tribune Government