Dissatisfaction with Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is spreading like wildfire among grassroots Republicans around the state. The Speaker’s leadership – or lack thereof – is the subject of a growing number of votes of no confidence and calls for his replacement by local GOP groups.
Eastland County’s Republican Party is the latest to formally express a lack of confidence in Straus’ leadership. Its July 26 resolution called on Republican State Rep. Mike Lang of Granbury, who represents Eastland County in the Texas House, to “withdraw all support for the current Speaker Joe Straus, and install a Speaker who will effectively advance the clear 2016 platform directives of the Republican Party of Texas.”
The Hood County Republican Party, also in House District 60, unanimously passed a Resolution of No Confidence on July 11, and they too called on Lang to “withdraw support for the current Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Joe Straus.”
Lang responded in a press release:
“I am glad that County parties from across my district are standing up for what they believe in and understand that Republican priorities are no longer the driving force for House Leadership… I stand with Governor Abbott and his special session priorities and I believe it is time for the House Leadership to stop obstructing the process and get these bills passed.”
Wood County’s Republican Party passed a Resolution for a New Texas Speaker of the House on July 21, calling for a new Speaker “who reflects Texas values in solving problems facing the State of Texas.”
Straus’ failure to support legislation consistent with the Republican Party of Texas’ platform – and his open obstruction of conservative priorities – is generating dissatisfaction among Republican voters and activists across the state.
In fact, Straus’ home county party was the first to formally rebuke him, on July 10, stating simply, “We of Bexar County GOP resolve that there should be a change in leadership in the Texas House speakership due to the non-support of the RPT platform by the current incumbent.”
Though some questioned whether that vote accurately reflected support for the resolution, a follow-up poll of all Bexar County GOP precinct chairs validated the vote. It showed that 63 percent of respondents who attended the meeting said they voted in favor of the anti-Straus resolution; 70 percent who didn’t attend said they would have voted for the resolution had they been present.
At least 11 county Republican parties have passed resolutions condemning Straus’ failure to advance the platform and calling for new House leadership: Bexar, Hood, Dewitt, Atascosa, Real, Uvalde, Smith, Wood, Van Zandt, Eastland, and Cherokee. Several other county GOP and conservative organizations are reportedly planning to follow suit at upcoming meetings.
Texas Republicans are losing faith in Straus’ commitment to their priorities.