With Two Congressmen Stepping Down, Texas Gains High-Profile Lawmaker Vacancies

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune.



By Rhonda FanningNovember 3, 2017 12:34 pm,

It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Alana Rocha, a reporter for the Texas Tribune.

After Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’ announcement last week that he won’t seek re-election, there’s been a lot of speculation about who might be the state’s next speaker.

“Two of his fellow House members have thrown their names in a hat,” Rocha says. “A few weeks ago, even before Straus announced that he wouldn’t be seeking another term, Phil King, another Republican, threw his name in. And immediately – the same day, I believe, that Straus announced his plans not to run again – John Zerwas threw his name in.”

Rocha says the Texas House Republican Caucus has been looking at ways to change their process for choosing a speaker.

U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) and U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-Dallas) have both announced that they won’t be seeking re-election.

“Both say they’re both term limited in their current chairmen roles for committees,” Rocha says. Rep. Smith said he feels “relieved” to step away.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.