Texas Legislature
2:50 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Rep. Scott Turner Challenging Joe Straus For Speaker In 2015

Freshman state Rep. Scott Turner, a tea party-backed Republican from North Texas who used to play in the NFL, announced that he had filed with the state to be considered for speaker of house in 2015, but one political expert isn’t surprised by the challenge.

Professor Jim Henson with the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project said this type of tea party challenge against current Speaker of the House Joe Strauss, R-San Antonio, has happened so often that it has become expected.

"It has now become almost a seasonal thing that there is talk in the connection between the election and legislative cycle when people throw their hat in the ring to be speaker, and because there’s been a lot more attention to the internal politics of the House, we get these cycle of stories about a 'speaker's race,'" Henson said.

Henson said if you look back over the last few cycles, quite a few people have filed for speaker of the house race, but very few have become speaker. Henson said what hasn’t changed is how the tea party faction of the Texas House has viewed Straus.

"I would say that what has changed is the speaker of the house has pretty effectively solidified his position," Henson said. "So I think it’s unlikely that this challenge really goes anywhere."

The speaker’s election is the first business the House conducts in a regular session. The next session begins in January 2015.