Texas House Speaker Joe Straus Will Not Seek Re-election

AUSTIN — Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus will not seek re-election, the San Antonio Republican confirmed Wednesday.In a Facebook post, the five-term speaker said he knew the news would be a surprise to many."Just as my ascension to the Speaker's office was unconventional and my approach to governing is unusual in these divisive times, I know this is also an unexpected decision," Straus wrote. "It's been decades since someone has left the Speaker's office on his own terms. But we have accomplished what I had hoped the House would accomplish when I first entered this office, and I am increasingly eager to contribute to our state in new and different ways."Long the target for the far right elements within his own party, Straus drew the ire of culture war Republicans this year by opposing some of their key agenda items, like the so-called bathroom bill.Straus said he will "continue to work for a Republican Party that tries to bring Texans together instead of us pulling us apart" and "will have a greater opportunity" to express his own views outside of elected office.Straus was first elected speaker in January 2009.  Continue reading...

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