When Joe Straus was re-elected by the House of Representatives to serve again as the state’s 3rd highest ranking constitutional officer, 17 members stood on principle, keeping their word to constituents, and did not vote for Mr. Straus.

Amongst what has been an unprecedented and dramatic contest even before the legislative session had begun, today’s conclusion was no less consequential.

As the House opened, both formal Speaker challengers (Rep. Ken Paxon and Rep. Warren Chisum) withdrew their challenges, leaving Rep. Straus as the only member standing to be elected House Speaker.  But just as Rep. Byron Cook moved that Mr. Straus be elected Speaker by acclamation, State Rep. Leo Berman contested with a point of order requesting that a record vote be taken.

The outcome, of course, did not change.  As noted earlier by Michael Sullivan, we congratulate Speaker Straus on being re-elected Speaker, but it is important to note that 17 members took a stand on principle demonstrating that they had heard and understood the message delivered by Texas’ conservative grassroots in November and since.

They put a commitment made to their constituents higher than the demands of Austin insiders. Those members are:

Rep. David Simpson (voting Nay)
Rep. James White (Voting Nay)
Rep. Bill Zedler (voting Nay)
Rep. Charles Perry (voting Nay)
Rep. Ken Paxon (voting Nay)
Rep. Tan Parker (voting Nay)
Rep. Phil King (voting Nay)
Rep. Van Taylor (voting Nay)
Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (voting Nay)
Rep. Jim Landtroop (voting Nay)
Rep. Dan Flynn (voting Nay)
Rep. Leo Berman (voting Nay)
Rep. Wayne Christian (voting Nay)
Rep. Erwin Cain (voting Nay)
Rep. Cindy Burkett (voting Nay)
Rep. Bryan Hughes (present-not-voting)
Rep. Jason Isaac (present-not-voting)

These members stood first on principles. They made a difficult decision to do what they believed was right on behalf of their constituents, proving to conservatives that when times get tough, they will stand and fight on the principles that won them their elections in the first place.

Andrew Kerr is the Executive Director of Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility

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