On Wednesday, State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City) endorsed State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) for speaker of the Texas House.

Tinderholt announced his challenge to incumbent House Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont) last week, saying his concerns with Phelan stem from a lack of movement on the Republican Party’s legislative priorities.

The speaker holds a powerful position, setting the agenda for the House, determining committees, and appointing committee chairs.

According to Tinderholt, “Most Republicans will tell you that they fully expect many important Republican policies to die at the hands of liberal committee chairs appointed by Speaker Phelan.”

Slaton echoes Tinderholt’s concerns with Phelan, saying, “Texans have voted to put Republicans in power because they want Republicans to control government and Republican policy to become law.”

They want us to appoint Republican committee chairs and they want us to pass Republican legislation. I am confident Tony Tinderholt is the leader we need to ensure the Texas House serves our voters, listens to the grassroots, and advances the Texas GOP legislative priorities.

Indeed, ending the practice of placing Democrats in leadership positions is a priority for the Texas GOP, one on which over 80 percent of Republican voters agreed.

However, Phelan supports the practice; when a rule change was proposed to ban giving chairmanships to the minority party last year, Tinderholt was one of the only Republican members to vote for the measure.

Phelan was elected to the speakership with the support of both Republicans and Democrats last January, with only two members—State Reps. Jeff Cason (R–Bedford) and Slaton—opposing him. Cason will not be returning to the Texas House after his district was redrawn to support a Democrat candidate, which he argued was a form of retaliation for opposing the speaker.

The vote for speaker of the House will take place among House members when the state Legislature convenes on January 10, 2023.

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.