Today marks the first day of the 82nd Texas Legislative Session, and in all likelihood, Joe Straus will be re-elected Speaker. By a show of hands, he received 70 of 100 votes at yesterday's GOP House Caucus. No further vote was taken. Warren Chisum has bowed out and endorsed Ken Paxton, but for all intents and purposes, this race is over.
While a Straus re-election is disappointing, it certainly is not surprising, and I just cannot share the feelings of 'doom and gloom' expressed by some of my compatriots. This campaign has pushed Republicans to debate important issues, and has allowed the grassroots to send the message that we are informed and we have high expectations for this session. I think that while Straus may not personally agree with most Conservatives on certain issues, he realizes that he will have to permit a more conservative agenda in this session.
The pomp and circumstance of the swearings-in will take place today, and then the Texas House will have 140 days to complete the business the voters hired them to do. We need to acknowledge Straus' victory and take comfort in the fact that the other two Texas GOP leaders, Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, are pretty conservative and will lead the charge for our issues.
Update: Apparently Warren Chisum is not endorsing Paxton after all. He released a statement today indicating support for Straus.