December 28, 2006
Speaker's race: Two out, one in

Things continue to heat up in the Speaker's race. First, according to the Quorum Report, onetime Speaker candidate Robert Talton has thrown his support to Brian McCall, thus making him the first Republican to officially break with Tom Craddick. BOR prints Talton's statement.

Meanwhile, the Chron's Lisa Sandberg reports on Texas Politics blog that Senfronia Thompson has also thrown her support to McCall. She claimed to have about 60 pledges.

That leaves Craddick and McCall. Well, it did leave them until Jim Pitts announced his candidacy.

"I told Speaker Craddick that I didnt think he could get the numbers that he needed (to be re-elected as head of the House). I dont think Brian (McCall) is getting the numbers. And I've got a consensus group that has asked me to run," Pitts said in an interview minutes after he mailed his paperwork for the race.

Pitts said he would have a news conference at the Capitol later today to announce his race.

He disclosed his plans soon after a consultant for McCall, R-Plano, said his client had been endorsed by Rep. Robert Talton, R-Pasadena - who had been considering a run for speaker - and Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, who filed to run against Craddick.

All I've heard about Jim Pitts suggests that he'd be as good an alternative as McCall would be. If he can get over the hump, he'd be fine by me.

Meanwhile, Paul Burka says what he knows about McCall and his chances. Craddick released a list of 84 pledges to the Quorum Report, which you can see here (Word doc) and beneath the fold. That list includes Jim Pitts, so take it for what it's worth. Finally, BOR has a Numsum spreadsheet comparing Craddick's original pledge list to his current one, minus Pitts, with both lists taken from what Quorum Report has published. Have I mentioned that this is going to be a fun few days? Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Burka has more.

UPDATE: Burka reports from Pitts' press conference.

Craddick's list, according to Quorum Report:


1. Anderson, Doc

2. Aycock, Jimmie Don

3. Berman, Leo

4. Bohac, Dwayne

5. Bonnen, Dennis

6. Branch, Dan

7. Brown, Betty

8. Brown, Fred

9. Callegari, Bill

10. Chisum, Warren

11. Christian, Wayne

12. Cook, Bryon

13. Corte, Frank

14. Crabb, Joe

15. Craddick, Tom

16. Creighton, Brandon

17. Crownover, Myra

18. Darby, Drew

19. Davis, John

20 Delisi, Dianne

21. Driver, Joe

22. Eissler, Rob

23. Elkins, Gary

24. England, Kirk

25. Flynn, Dan

26. Gattis, Dan

27. Goolsby, Tony

28. Hamilton, Mike

29. Hancock, Kelly

30. Hardcastle, Rick

31. Harless, Patricia

32. Harper-Brown, Linda

33. Hartnett, Will

34. Hilderbran, Harvey

35. Hill, Fred

36. Howard, Charlie

37. Isett, Carl

38. Jackson, Jim

39. Keffer, Jim

40. King, Phil

41. King, Susan

42. Kolkhorst, Lois

43. Krusee, Mike

44. Macias, Nathan

45. Madden, Jerry

46. Miller, Sid

47. Morrison, Geanie

48. Mowery, Anna

49. Murphy, Jim

50. Orr, Rob

51. Otto, John

52. Parker, Tan

53. Patrick, Diane

54. Phillips, Larry

55. Pitts, Jim

56. Smith, Wayne

57. Smithee, John

58. Solomons, Burt

59. Straus, Joe

60. Swinford, David

61. Taylor, Larry

62. Truitt, Vicki

63. Van Arsdale, Corbin

64. West, Buddy

65. Woolley, Beverly

66. Zedler, Bill

67. Zerwas, John


1. Kevin Bailey

2. Norma Chavez

3. Joe D. Deshotel

4. Dawnna Dukes

5. Harold Dutton

6. Ismael "Kino" Flores

7. Helen Gidding

8. Ryan Guillen

9. Chuck Hopson

10. Tracy O. King

11. Armando "Mando" Martinez

12. Ruth McClendon

13. Aaron Pena

14. Robert Puente

15. Richard Raymond

16. Patrick M. Rose

17. Sylvester Turner

Some of those Dems I'd consider solid for Craddick - Bailey, Chavez, Dukes, Dutton, Flores, McClendon, Puente, Rose, and Turner. Others, maybe not so much. At this point, assume most of what is being said today as being written in the sand as the tide comes in.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 28, 2006 to That's our Lege | TrackBack

Chairman Pitts is a good person. He's demonstrated that he is not afraid of Craddick and really has nothing to lose by doing this. Craddick was going to remove him as Appropriations chair anyway.

Posted by: Marie on December 28, 2006 3:10 PM

I've heard that a leading D consultant has been telling folks that Jim Keffer or Jim Pitts should be the compromise candidate for Rs that can't bring themselves to vote for McCall because it would give too much influence to Jim Dunnam and the rest of the D leadership in the House.

Posted by: seth on December 28, 2006 3:50 PM

Before you start praising Pitts, consider his impact on any hopes of air quality legislation this session.

He represents Midlothian, home of three - count 'em - three cement plants that produce half of all the industrial pollution in DFW. And he protects those lovlies like a Mother Bear.

Just like Craddick, he'll be an industry gatekeeper that will prevent any clean air legislation from passing, or even getting a chance to pass.

McCall on the other hand represents an area that is hard hit by the pollution from those cement plants - and the new coal plants as well. He comes from a County where the recent incumbent (R) County Judge was one of the most respected voices for clean air in Texas.

If you're an air breather, you should be praying for McCall, not Pitts, no matter how much you want Craddick's ass out on the street.

Posted by: Clayton on December 28, 2006 4:20 PM

Why would a D consultant be telling R's what to do?

Posted by: Joe on December 28, 2006 9:15 PM

"He represents Midlothian, home of three - count 'em - three cement plants that produce half of all the industrial pollution in DFW. And he protects those lovlies like a Mother Bear."

If the above quote is the only bad thing you can find to say about Rep. Pitts sounds like he would make a great Speaker. Rep. Pitts you are in my thoughts and prayers, I hope you win in a land slide victory.

Posted by: Matt McClain on January 8, 2007 2:28 PM