As the Race for a New Texas House Speaker Begins to Heat Up, GOP Lawmakers Should Make a Practical Choice

The best political leaders are those who serve as an example of honesty and integrity — not only to the people they represent but to the public in general and to other politicians and political leaders.Because Republican lawmaker Joe Straus, who has served as Texas House speaker since 2009, decided against seeking re-election this year, the race is on as to who will wield the gavel when the Legislature convenes next January.Republicans face a potentially precarious decision. Will they select a pragmatic leader similar to Straus, who stressed the interests of Texas and all Texans, or will they go for someone more like Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who puts reactionary politics first?Who will emerge as the new leader is anyone's guess. Four House lawmakers already have thrown their hats in the ring and more are considering joining the race.Despite a torrent of criticism directed at Straus during his tenure, he managed to lead the House from a narrow two-seat Republican edge to a healthy 40-seat majority that passed legislation near and dear to the hearts of the GOP, including balanced budgets and tax cuts.  Continue reading...

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