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.

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