Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) announced he had sufficient support from members-elect of both parties to become the next Speaker of the House, succeeding Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), who did not seek re-election.

Rep. Dennis Bonnen

Rep. Dennis Bonnen

“The Speaker’s race is over, and the House is ready to work,” Bonnen said during a brief press conference at the Capitol.

He released a list 109 pledges. During his remarks, Bonnen said that it did not matter whether a specific name is or is not on the list. Bonnen said he would continue to uphold the bipartisan traditions of the House, and his top priority would be school finance. The Speaker is elected by a majority vote of the full 150-member House. Last year, the House Republican Caucus established a non-binding process for selecting a preferred candidate via a two-thirds vote.

Bonnen’s list reached both thresholds. It contained 78 Republicans, which is 94% of the incoming Republican Caucus and by itself enough to secure the gavel, and 31 Democrats (out of 63). The only Republicans not on the list were Reps. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches), Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Jay Dean (R-Longview), Hugh Shine (R-Belton) and Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford).

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