As Election Day votes were just beginning to be cast across Texas on Tuesday, State Rep. Joe Moody (El Paso) became the fourth Democrat to file for Speaker of the Texas House.
Moody is currently the speaker pro tempore, having been appointed as a top lieutenant by outgoing disgraced Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R–Lake Jackson).
In fact, after the last legislative session, Bonnen suggested it would be a blessing to have Moody lead a Democrat majority in the Texas House.
“I think Texas would be very blessed if there was a Democrat majority and Joe Moody wanted to lead the House,” Bonnen told an Austin newspaper in May 2019.
“Joe Moody is an exceptional leader, and he has had an extraordinary session leading this session,” Bonnen continued. “I’m very lucky to have had him as [my] speaker pro tem, and he worked day and night to make the House work.”
An outspoken liberal since entering the legislature in 2009, Moody hangs a banner in his office accusing Republicans of racist intent for passing Senate Bill 4—the ban on sanctuary cities that passed during the 2017 regular session.
Moody is also a longtime proponent of gun control and authored “red-flag” legislation that would allow courts to confiscate Texans’ guns without notice or a hearing and extend such an order for up to two years without giving the accused a right to a jury or a right of appeal.
Moody’s hopes for the speakership hinge on a Democrat majority, an outcome he says he believes will happen “before the day is done.”
Republican State Reps. Chris Paddie of Marshall, Trent Ashby of Lufkin, and Geanie Morrison of Victoria, and Dade Phelan of Beaumont have also officially filed for the position. State Rep. John Cyrier (R–Lockhart) also announced his candidacy, but he dropped out less than 24 hours later and endorsed Morrison.