In a Facebook post Monday night, State Rep. Matt Krause (R–Fort Worth) listed for his constituents and followers his reasons for signing on to support State Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R–Angleton) in his bid for speaker of the Texas House.

In his post, Krause explains that Bonnen satisfies his three goals for the next speaker.

1. That the next speaker would be center-right and more conservative in his/her ideology.

Bonnen was ranked the 25th most conservative member of the House during the 2017 session according to the Rice University rankings. This ranking put him much higher than any of the other declared candidates running for the position.

Indeed, of the candidates that had officially entered the race, Bonnen has earned the highest score on the Fiscal Responsibility Index. That said, his score of 61 is a far cry from Krause’s own 98 and, in terms of ranking, Bonnen is the 42nd most conservative member according to the Index.

2. I wanted the next speaker to get away from using a lobbyist/political consultant to run the things inside the House.

For much of the past 10 years, that person has been Gordon Johnson. Now, that is not to disparage Mr. Johnson — I have only spoken to him once and don’t know the man. But the business of the House should take place with the members of the House — not have to go to a lobbyist/political consultant to see if your bill will be acceptable or not. And I don’t care who that lobbyist/political consultant is — I would say the same if we were talking about someone conservative such as Luke Macias, Jordan Berry, or Kevin Brannon.

From what I understand, there is no love lost between Bonnen and Johnson and Johnson will have no place in the next administration. And there won’t be a replacement for that person under Bonnen’s watch, and that is a good thing.

Conservatives who have watched the Texas House obstruct priority legislation repeatedly throughout the past decade have lobbyist and puppet master Gordon Johnson to thank. Johnson was the longtime political consultant to Speaker Joe Straus and was attempting to arrange another coalition speaker elected by Democrats and a minority of Republicans to hold the gavel and quash conservative reforms.

Fortunately for taxpayers, his chosen candidates all failed to garner the support needed.

3. Wanted to ensure conservatives have a meaningful role in the goings-on of the House.

If you look at the committees for the last few sessions, the 50 most conservative members of the House were virtually shut out from the major committees such as State Affairs and Calendars. This should not have happened. Under Bonnen’s administration, I am quite confident that multiple conservatives will have prominent roles in the House and the ability to have a seat at the table for all major discussions.

What makes me confident of this is who has helped Bonnen assume the Speakership. It was a group of center-right conservatives that drafted Bonnen to run. And they will help him govern and I look forward to helping in whatever capacity they deem right.

Of the 109 names released by Bonnen after his announcement yesterday that he had tied up the nomination, 80 of them are Republican members, a nearly unanimous choice from across the party’s ideological spectrum.

The caucus vote for the Republican speaker nominee will take place on December 1, while the official vote will take place shortly after the Legislature reconvenes on January 8.

Whether Krause (and the other Republican members) made the right choice in backing Bonnen won’t be known until after the Texas Legislature adjourns sine die.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens


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