Is Dade Phelan The Next Texas House Speaker?
A question heading into Election Day this week was, who would control the Texas House? And it didn't take long for that question to be answered. Texas Republicans had a tremendous night and defended both their Senate and House majorities.
As soon as that picture became clear, Republican and Democrat House members were making calls to one another trying to figure out another race which normally plays out behind the scenes and away from the public. Who will be the next Texas House Speaker?
Current House Speaker Dennis Bonnen did not seek re-election after a controversy in which he and State Representative Dustin Burrows were recorded on tape meeting with Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans. On the recording Bonnen and Burrows could be heard discussing Republican members that it would be fine for Empower Texans to target.
Once the audio was released, Bonnen decided to retire.
On Wednesday and playing out through Thursday, State Representative Dade Phelan announced he had bipartisan support to become Speaker of the Texas House. According to the Dallas Morning News, Phelan has a clear path.
State Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, appears to have a clear path to become the next speaker of the Texas House after Rep. Geanie Morrison of Victoria, his final GOP rival in the race, withdrew her candidacy Thursday and threw her support behind him.
Morrison withdrew from the race at a meeting of House Republicans in Austin on Thursday afternoon. The meeting was not an official GOP caucus event even though all Republican members were invited.
On Wednesday, less than a day after Republicans had defended their majority in the Texas House, Phelan declared he had an insurmountable lead, and the speaker’s race was effectively over.
Representative Dustin Burrows is on the list of Phelan's supporters. In December, the House Republican Caucus will meet to select their candidate for Speaker and on the first day of the legislative session, House members will vote on the new Speaker.
There is still a long ways to go, but Phelan seems to have the inside track.