As Straus Announces Plan to Exit, the GOP Is Losing Its Fighters When It Needs Them Most

News that Speaker Joe Straus will leave the Texas Legislature at the end of his current term struck the capitol like a bomb Wednesday morning, and it’s reverberations will be ringing clear round the state for months to come. Straus’ decision is especially disheartening because it swells a parade already well underway in Washington, where conservative Republican senators are finally raising their voices against the leadership of President Donald Trump, but only as they announce plans to quit. In Straus’ case, he’s been leading a fight for a more inclusive, sustainable Republican Party in Austin since becoming speaker in 2009, especially since the rise of the tea party here. He is now abandoning the field just as his struggles with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott for the soul of their party have become most intense.  Continue reading...

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