With the primary runoff election mere weeks away, Texas Scorecard reached out to all runoff candidates for state representative to ask what they are looking for in a speaker candidate. 

The Speaker of the Texas House is elected by fellow House members and wields considerable power as the arbitrator of committee assignments and order on the floor. 

Current House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) has faced considerable ire from citizens for appointing Democrats to chair key committees in the House and allowing Republican priorities to die without a vote.  

A group of current and future House Republicans created a “Contract with Texas” to end “liberal dysfunction” in the House, proposing a dozen reforms promising to “improve the integrity, transparency, and efficiency of the House.”

They want the next Speaker of the House to implement the following 12 reforms:

  1. Only solicit support for Speakership from Republican members
  2. End the practice of awarding Democrats with committee chairmanships
  3. Ensure all GOP legislative priorities receive a floor vote before any Democrat bills
  4. Replace the current liberal Parliamentarians with staff committed to only offering advice on adherence to House rules, not to advancing their personal ideology
  5. Limit the Speaker to two terms to reduce their power over individual members
  6. Ensure there are no longer any Democrat-majority committees
  7. Stop parliamentary abuse by requiring only substantial adherence to House rules to keep hyper-technical points of order from killing good legislation
  8. Allow audio/video recording of all House proceedings, including point of order debates
  9. Start substantive work as soon as Session begins to end delays that kill priority legislation
  10. Reform the Calendars Committee to increase transparency and accountability
  11. Select a Republican as Speaker Pro Tempore
  12. Decentralize power by prohibiting the distribution of political funds from the Speaker

Below is what the Republican House Runoff candidates have to say on what they would like to see in a speaker. 


House District 1

Chris Spencer: “My requirements for selecting a speaker are simple.  He or she must be a Republican, a staunch conservative, committed to not only appointing Republican chairs only but Republican majorities on committees.”

State Rep. Gary VanDeaver did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 12

Ben Bius: “We have a historic opportunity to restore the Texas House of Representatives to the people’s house and usher in a new era of the conservative principles our state was founded on. I will support a speaker who is a true conservative as evidenced by his or her voting record, public statements, and campaign platform and adheres to the Contract with Texas.” 

Trey Wharton: “I have signed the Contract With Texas.” 


House District 21

David Covey: “Speaker Dade Phelan has repeatedly failed to pass key Republican legislation because he is more concerned with appeasing the Democrats that supported his Chairmanship than representing Southeast Texas conservative values. Our next Speaker must have the will to govern as the majority and eliminate Democrat chairmanship positions.”

Speaker Dade Phelan did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 29

Jeffrey Barry: “I would like a speaker that prioritizes our Republican agenda.”

Alex Kamkar did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 30

AJ Louderback: “I have signed onto the Contract with Texas outlining what I would like to see in the 2025 session and beyond. It’s imperative Republican voters receive Republican leadership.”

Jeff Bauknight did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 33

Katrina Pierson: “I’ve signed the Contract with Texas.” 

State Rep. Justin Holland did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 44

Alan Schoolcraft: “A Speaker candidate for the Texas House of Representatives should adhere to the twelve tenets that have been laid out in the Contract with Texas. This is why I signed on to the Contract with Texas early on. The Contract with Texas is the basis on which I would judge a good candidate for Speaker of the House. On the other hand, my opponent John Kuempel supported and voted for Speaker Dade Phelan. Phelan appointed Democrat chairs and bowed to Democrat points of order that resulted in the killing of conservative legislation.”

State Rep. John Kuempel did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 58

Helen Kerwin: “I want to see a Speaker candidate who takes the Contract with Texas seriously and will pledge, in writing, to passing reforms that significantly reduce the power of the Speaker, distributes power among the members of the state house, ends the corrupt practice of awarding chairmanships to radical Democrats, hires a Parliamentarian who reflects the will of Texas Republicans (instead of an Obama era extremists), operates in a much more professional and expedited manner (like the State Senate), and ends the rigged structure of the Calendars Committee, which is designed to kill conservative, Republican priorities.”

State Rep. DeWayne Burns did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 61

Keresa Richardson: “I am looking for a Speaker candidate who agrees that Republicans should have full control of the Texas House and will appoint Republicans to chair all of our committees. I am also looking for a candidate for Speaker who will be a strong advocate for our Republican Party of Texas legislative priorities, and who will lead on those issues to ensure that we pass the legislation to make Texas stronger and more secure.”

State Rep. Frederick Frazier did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 64

Andy Hopper: “I am proud to sign onto the Contract for Texas, which will rightfully return power back to House members and put Texans back in the driver’s seat rather than the Speaker. The 25+ conservatives in the 89th Legislature who are willing to enact these changes will change the course of Texas history and put Texas on a path to saving our state and our country. Every actual Republican should publicly embrace every single one of the measures in the Contract for Texas.”

State Rep. Lynn Stucky did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 91

David Lowe: “Once elected, I will only support a speaker that appoints Republican committee chairs and supports the Republican Party of Texas legislative priorities.” 

State Rep. Stephanie Klick did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry


House District 97

John McQueeny: “I want a speaker who is committed to passing and promoting conservative principles, and will ban the practice of appointing democrats as committee chairmen. We need to make sure we are set up to secure the border, pass permanent property tax relief, put an end to the woke agenda, pass school choice, and defend life and the 2nd Amendment at all costs. We cannot allow democrats to get in our way.”

Cheryl Bean: “I expect the next Speaker to advance the cause of liberty and adhere to the proposed “Contract with Texas” to improve integrity, transparency, and efficiency of the House.”

Amelia McKenzie

Amelia is a senior at Liberty University in Virginia. She is studying Digital Journalism and is currently a fellow with Texas Scorecard.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.