Procedural Issues Thwart Efforts To Censure Straus, For Now

Oct 11, 2017

Credit State of Texas

Procedural issues thwart the efforts of a group of Bexar County Republicans who want to censure the leadership of House Speaker Joe Straus.  But that group plans to bring the issue back up for a vote at a meeting next month.

Similar to efforts made by more than 50 other county Republican Party groups, some Bexar County GOP precinct chairs would like to censure Straus’ leadership as Speaker.  They say the San Antonio-area Republican too often has set his own agenda and broken away from the party’s platform on issues like creating a statewide transgender bathroom ban.

During this week’s Bexar County Republican Party executive committee meeting, Robert Stovall, the chair of the Bexar County Republican Party, told the group that they had missed too many deadlines to fix their original resolution on the matter.

“The small group that came up with the resolution was not happy.  It was no fault of anyone’s except their own that they could’ve gotten the resolution ready and prepared," Stovall explains.

Bexar County Precinct Chair Patty Gibbons says she didn’t agree with Stovall’s interpretation of the rules and during Monday’s executive committee meeting refused to sit down, which led to the room erupting in a shouting match and a vote on the resolution being taken off the table.

“This was not a handful of malfeasants in the room.  These were very active precinct chairs, they were in the majority, but when we have a presiding chair who is usurping his authority and overstepping it, there wasn’t much we could do," Gibbons says.

Stovall says the group can resubmit the effort to censure Straus ahead of the County Party’s January executive committee meeting.  But Gibbons says if they can get at least 20-percent of the Bexar County’s Republican precinct chairs to agree, they can and will hold a special election on the matter next month.

A censure of Straus’ leadership would let the state party withhold financial support for him and enable it to go to his challenger, if one steps forward, ahead of the 2018 primary election.