While the election of the Speaker of the Texas House – the third most powerful position in state government – is restricted only to the 150 members of the chamber, we asked whom readers would select if they could vote. Only two members (both Republicans) have announced their candidacy. In a secret vote during their caucus meeting last weekend, the House Republican Caucus chose to re-nominate the incumbent speaker, Dade Phelan.

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Here is a sample of the responses we received from our readers.


“The fact that Dade Phelan has Democrats supporting him tells us all we need to know. He has been the stumbling block to getting Republican issues passed.” – Betty Bailey-Lucas

“It is well past time to govern in the light of day. Stop these back-room, caucus ‘votes’ – making deals rather than working for the people that put you there!” – Roger Hall

“The Matthew Dade Phelan Campaign donated $45,500 to Steve Toth. How do you think Steve Toth voted? Please check the donors to your representative.” – Jeanne Huryn

“Jeff Leach received $65,150 from Mathew Dade Phelan. Do you suppose he felt obligated? Several conservative polling sites put Tinderholt ahead of Phelan. Phelan has failed to bring moral votes to the floor.” – Brent Shutt

“The ‘leadership’ of Speaker Phelan’s has been an abysmal failure for conservative values. He obviously should have a ‘D’ attached to his name instead of an ‘R,’ the same going for those who voted for him. A severe case of RINO-virus here.” – Randy Miller

“Dade Phelan is NOT a Republican – he isn’t even hiding his affiliation with the liberal left because he’s been empowered to go against everything conservatives hold dear in Texas.” – Cindy Kelley

“We need to make a change in the Texas House. It’s well past time for conservative Republicans to take charge and be rid of moderate Republican speakers.” – Chuck Breedlove

“Dade Phelan is not a Republican, but a member of the Uni-Party that is destroying our country (and Texas).” – Mika Ryan

“We moved to Texas about 10 years ago for the state being conservative, not impressed so far. After last session, Phelan did nothing for Texas citizens. Phelan needs to go.” – Christopher Vizi

“I have called my representative, Reggie Smith, every week for 5 weeks to voice my support for no more Democratic chairs and have heard NOTHING back! Because he’s RINO, just like Phelan!” – Jay Trantham

“Tony Tinderholt has a Fiscal Responsibility Index rating of 92%. Dade Phelan has a proven track record of undermining conservative priorities. No wonder Democrats are willing to vote for him. It’s high time we get new leadership in the House.” – Thomas Camardo

“Phelan has had his chance and has failed miserably! Yet again, we all need someone that will stand strong for what ‘we the people’ want!” – Nancy Wells

“Why did the caucus feel they needed to meet in secret? Things that have to be done in secret are usually sinister in their intention.” – Rex Reeve

“The Republicans in the House are not doing their job in representing their constituents! Why have a secret vote for the speaker? Nothing should be secret from Texans!” – John Patterson

“I truly believe our government is out of control and they do not care about us. No matter what the majority wants, it seems they are going to do what they want or what is best for them. We need to figure out a way to remove them all and start over. We need a government that is for the people, and we the people need to push harder for what we want. It is a shame what our government has become; it is time for change.” – Brian Jesko

“Tony Tinderholt would be a breath of fresh air in the new legislative session.” – Rick L. Perry

“I voted for Tony because he is the only one who has clearly stated he wants the job. We certainly do not want to repeat the disastrous mistake we made on the national level by making unwise concessions to a left-of-center, ‘moderate’ RINO to run for speaker of the U. S. House (Paul Ryan) and have to suffer with the repeated defeat of the Republican agenda there.” – Patrick Bell

“Dade is not a Republican, nor does he support the Republican platform. Dade goes and supports liberal causes, and if elected speaker for the next term, the Republicans will do nothing to oppose him.” – Danny Thompson

“I would vote for ANYONE other than Phelan!! He is a terrible speaker. He even gives a fox a run for its money, as far as deceit and cunning go!” – Ronda Rice

“‘Dud’ Phelan has already shown his RINO colors in the last session. There’s no reason to expect him to become more conservative in this session.” – Steve Nulf

“It’s time to literally act like Republicans ARE the majority in Texas! It’s time to vote out RINOs. It’s time for elected Republicans to act on behalf of their constituents.” – Jan Goria

Texas Scorecard

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