In an unexpected move this afternoon, State Rep. Tan Parker (R–Flower Mound) filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission to run for Speaker of the House.
Parker, who was elected to his seat in 2006, is the current chairman of the House Republican Caucus. Last year, in a campaign spearheaded by the Texas Freedom Caucus, the HRC changed its bylaws to create a process to nominate a unified speaker candidate in caucus. Shortly after the change was made, Speaker Joe Straus decided to retire with many attributing his departure to the new process.
Parker has said he is resigning his position as chair of the caucus, leaving current vice chair State Rep. Cindy Burkett as the head. Burkett did not seek re-election to the House, instead embarking on a failed attempt to unseat State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood).
Parker joins two other candidates who have officially entered the race: State Reps. Phil King (R–Weatherford) and John Zerwas (R–Richmond), with State Rep. Drew Darby (R–San Angelo) widely expected to join the field.
This article will be updated as more information is released.

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