Eleven more Republican House members announced today (Monday) that they could no longer support Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton). Reps. John Frullo (R-Lubbock), Dan Huberty (R-Houston), Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio), Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) and Four Price (R-Lubbock) issued a joint statement calling for an “expedient, deliberate and well-planned transition” in House leadership. The group said that they “helped draft and fully support” the Republican Caucus’s statement condemning Bonnen and Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), but they wanted “to further express our belief that a leadership change is necessary.”
Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) said he “strongly encourage[d] Speaker Bonnen to resign” and would not support him for another term. King said he withheld his call for Bonnen to resign because he did not want it to appear to be “sour grapes” as a former rival for the gavel. Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) reversed his statement supporting Bonnen “after hearing the concerns expressed by my constituents in House District 2.” Flynn said, “I cannot continue my support for Speaker Bonnen as the Leader of the Texas House.” Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) tweeted that she would “also pile on” and ask for Bonnen’s resignation. Davis said she would request that Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth), the Republican Caucus chair, call a meeting so members could vote on it. Rep. Hugh Shine (R-Temple) said in a statement that Bonnen should “resign immediately.”
Earlier in the day, Reps. Steve Allison (R-San Antonio) and Lynn Stucky (R-Sanger) said they can no longer support Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton). Allison said in a statement that confidence in Bonnen and Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) “has been irreparably damaged,” and that “it is time for [them] to be held accountable for their actions.” Allison was among the Republican incumbents listed off by Burrows to Empower Texans CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan as being “primaries to fight in.” Stucky said the “level of distrust and division within our ranks can only be healed by new leadership.”
At least 13 other Republican House members have explicitly called for Bonnen to resign or be replaced as Speaker: Reps. Doc Anderson (R-Waco), Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg), DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne), Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Kyle Kacal (R-College Station), Stan Lambert (R-Abilene), Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), John Raney (R-Bryan), Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton), Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) and Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands). Several Democrats have also called for Bonnen’s resignation.
Several others have stopped short of calling for his resignation, including Reps. Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd), Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches), Phil King (R-Weatherford), John Smithee (R-Amarillo) and Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), although the latter recently said on Facebook, “If your Representative hasn’t called for Speaker Bonnen’s resignation publicly, then they are supporting him.”
Reps. Justin Holland (R-Heath), Jeff Leach (R-Allen), Scott Sanford (R-McKinney) and Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) have said that Bonnen should “work diligently to prove to all 149 House members” that he can rebuild trust and continue to lead the House.
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