A majority of Texas House Republicans say they do not want Democrats placed in leadership positions next session, a strong rebuke of a policy that has been embraced by current House Speaker Dade Phelan.

The letter, signed by 46 current and incoming Republican members, states:

In a collective effort to respond to Republican voters and reform the Texas House, we will only vote for a candidate for speaker pursuant to the Platform and the Caucus By-Laws who will only appoint Republicans as committee chairs.

Phelan, meanwhile, has repeatedly defended the practice of placing Democrats as chairs of committees, despite the fact that ending the practice has been a priority of the Republican Party of Texas. In a recent interview, he said he would “not waver” from placing Democrats in charge, despite the Republican majority in the chamber. 

The letter comes as a group of lawmakers have been circulating a Contract With Texas, a series of 12 proposed reforms to end the Democrat power-sharing that is prevalent in the House. State Rep. Nate Schatzline (R–Fort Worth) told Texas Scorecard the group will continue pushing for all 12 points.

“Today the majority of the Texas House Republican Caucus agreed to support 2 points in the Contract with Texas, effectively blocking Dade Phelan from gaining the caucus endorsement for speaker. However, we can’t stop here. The 21 signers of the contract with Texas remain steadfast in supporting a speaker who we believe will enact all 12 points,” said Schatzline. 

Attorney General Ken Paxton also applauded the move, calling it a “step in the right direction.”

“I applaud those who are serious about reforming the House. Those who haven’t signed yet shouldn’t be left behind. There is still time,” Paxton wrote on X.

The letter may be viewed below:

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