At the Republican convention in Fort Worth this weekend, we and our partners in the “Life, Liberty & Property” coalition hosted a straw poll – asking the thousands of delegates, alternates and attendees who they would select as the next speaker of the Texas House.

The choices were the two declared candidates – incumbent Joe Straus, challenger Scott Turner – or “other.”

The results:

Joe Straus (incumbent) 6.6%
Scott Turner (challenger) 91.5%
Other 1.9%

Of course, the people don’t get a vote in selecting the state’s third-ranking constitutional office; that privilege rests with your state representatives. For decades, the decision was made in the backrooms of the Capitol, where legislators made self-serving deals outside the watchful eyes of their constituents.

With more and more Texans learning about the corruption taking place in the state House, GOP lawmakers will have to decide if they want to stick with a speaker covering up legislative abuses for his cronies, or side with the choice of their conservative constituents.

In this election cycle, the closer state representatives stood to Joe Straus the harder they fell – when seeking re-election or going for higher office, voters sent them packing. Not a single ally of Joe Straus was elected to statewide office; all were soundly defeated.

If your legislator is standing with Joe Straus, or waffling on the need to change the House leadership, they are the obstructionists standing against the widely expressed wishes of the overwhelming majority of conservatives in the Lone Star State.

The primary election results, and the weekend’s straw poll, make it abundantly clear that Texans want optimistic, conservative-minded leaders like Scott Turner who will reform state government. You may not have a vote on the House floor, but you do have a voice. Make sure your legislator hears from you.


Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."