House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) is under fire from GOP officials for his failure to support the only Republican in an open-seat special election in Bexar County. Members of the State Republican Executive Committee penned a stinging rebuke for Straus’ unwillingness to support the GOP candidate in the race.

Following a June announcement that he would not be seeking reelection, Farias later announced that he was immediately resigning his seat. Gov. Abbott called for a November 3rd Special Election to fill the seat. Since no candidate received the majority of votes, John Lujan and his democratic challenger, Tomas Uresti, went into a runoff election set for January 26th.

In the press release the SREC members say:

“John Lujan is a strong candidate for the GOP to pick up House District 118.  He is a solid, conservative, Christian, Hispanic entrepreneur and former firefighter.  Most local conservative and even moderate Republican officials have endorsed Lujan, including Senator Donna Campbell, Congressman Lamar Smith, State Rep. Lyle Larson, and County Commissioner Kevin Wolff as well as one of the Speaker’s Republican primary opponents – Jeff Judson.

But noticeably absent from this list is Joe Straus, who has refused to endorse Lujan.  Endorsing a fellow Republican who might pick up a seat from the Democrats is the bread and butter of politics.  It’s a no brainer.”

As the speaker of the Republican-led Texas House, and the newly appointed chair of Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (RLCC), party leaders are wondering why he has chosen to stay silent saying, “ [We] are asking Joe Straus why he refuses to endorse a popular Hispanic Republican in his own county.”

Straus has shown his indifference in what the party wants through his strategic killing of conservative legislation, but SREC members are hoping to put pressure on him to secure his support for Lujan. As always, it begs the question, if Straus won’t endorse the only Republican in District 118’s race after hearing the concerns of the SREC, what is his real agenda and whom does he actually represent?

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.


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