Joe Straus Censure Brightens The Line Between Texas’ Conservative And Moderate Republicans

The action by the State Republican Executive Committee has no impact on the House Speaker’s position, but it does remind GOP voters that Straus hasn’t been with conservatives on hot button social issues.

By Jill AmentJanuary 29, 2018 11:00 am, ,

Speaker of the House Joe Straus is facing heat from his fellow Republicans. Over the weekend, the Executive Committee of the state GOP, or SREC, voted to censure him.

Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey says the SREC is dominated by social conservatives who have long disagreed with Straus’ more moderate issue positions. But it’s an unusual move, especially after the legislative session – and with Straus on the way out before the next one.

“It’s kind of like winning the Super Bowl and then excoriating your quarterback,” Ramsey says.

Ramsey says the SREC doesn’t necessarily represent the opinions of Republican voters. They’re among the staunchest activists in the party. The group’s action won’t affect Straus, but offers a signal as to how the leadership group is approaching the upcoming Republican primaries.

“It could tell the electorate ‘here’s where the SREC is, here’s what you should think about when voting for your members for the Texas House and the Senate and Congress and so forth,'” Ramsey says. “I’m not sure that it has any real effect, other than to underline the differences between the different kind of Republicans in Texas.”

Written by Shelly Brisbin.