A growing number of Texas Republicans are unhappy with state House leadership – or lack thereof – and they’re calling on legislators to make a change.

Collin County’s Republican Party is the latest of many county parties around the state to pass a resolution condemning House Speaker Joe Straus for failing to advance the Republican Party of Texas platform and calling for him to be replaced:

“Resolved, that the Collin County Republican Executive Committee recommends that Speaker of the Texas House Joseph Richard Straus III should be removed from leadership for his dismal failure to support the core principles of the Republican Party and his non-support of the RPT platform.”

CCGOP’s resolution – passed Monday by a 40 to 13 vote – brings the number of county parties that have officially criticized Straus to nearly 20.

“It is time for the House Republican Caucus to replace obstructionist Joe Straus with a true Republican,” said Karl Voigtsberger, a Collin County precinct chair and State Republican Executive Committeeman for Senate District 8 who voted for the resolution.

That sentiment is becoming more widespread among party members by the day.

Straus’ home county Republican 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.”

Since then, more county GOPs have followed suit – at least eighteen so far: Atascosa, Bexar, Cherokee, Collin, Comal, DeWitt, Eastland, Hood, Jim Wells, Kaufman, Liberty, Real, Rockwall, Smith, Titus, Uvalde, Van Zandt, and Wood.

Several more are reportedly planning to pass similar resolutions at upcoming meetings. Hidalgo County’s GOP polled its executive committee and found that two-thirds have “NO confidence in Representative Joe Straus as Texas House Speaker” and agree with other county parties that he should be replaced.

Some conservative Republican representatives are calling for a process to accomplish that. Members of the Texas Freedom Caucus sent a request last Thursday to House Republican Caucus Chairman Tan Parker (Flower Mound) to discuss procedures for choosing a Republican Speaker in the next legislative session:

“A Republican Speaker of the House should first win the confidence of a majority of his or her fellow Republicans… Republicans should determine their candidate for Speaker in a called meeting of the House Republican Caucus before the 86th Legislature convenes in 2019. Such a meeting is called for in the Republican Party Platform…

“In order for Republicans to choose their nominee for Speaker, we need a procedure in place to guide that process. However, no procedure for selecting our Speaker nominee with proper order has been adopted by the Republican Caucus. Such a procedure is critical to successfully choosing a nominee, and must be put in place well in advance of a meeting where nominees are considered.”

More and more Texas Republicans recognize that Straus isn’t committed to their priorities – and they expect their GOP representatives to select a new leader who is.

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Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.