The 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature convened at noon today (Tuesday). Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) was the only member nominated for Speaker, and he was elected by a 143-2 vote. Newly elected Reps. Jeff Cason (R-Bedford) and Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City) were the nay votes. Cason succeeded former Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) with his endorsement, and Slaton defeated former Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) in the 2020 Republican runoff.

In a Facebook post, Slaton said he could not “vote in favor of a speaker who has refused to articulate to Republicans whether or not he believes we should have a true conservative session.” That is a reference to a December 18 letter Slaton, Cason and Reps. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg) and Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) sent to Phelan asking his “intentions regarding giving Democrats power over our Republican priorities prior to your election” as Speaker. All four are clients of political consultant Luke Macias.

The House is expected to adopt its rules for the session on Thursday and then go into recess until January 26.

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