Do we or don’t we have a Speaker’s race?

Depends on who you ask. I mean, it’s not a race if one person can legitimately claim to have already won, right?

The speaker’s race in the Texas House is on, a challenger said today. The sitting speaker, however, said he’s got more support than he needs to keep the job.

State Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, called a press conference today to say that he will remain in the race for speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. He said the voters sent a sweeping message on election night.

“It was a call for a more conservative government, even in the state of Texas,” Chisum said before the press conference.

His announcement came after Speaker Joe Straus made it known that he has secured pledges from more than 120 Republican and Democratic members of the 150-member House to keep his job.

Chisum called the virtual pledge cards “a house made of paper.”

“The race is not over,” Chisum said.

In a press conference minutes after Chisum’s, Straus gathered with a bi-partisan collection of members supporting him as speaker. He counts 79 of 99 Republicans and 50 Democrats in his corner, he said.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from previous Speaker’s races, it’s that pledge card lists mean bupkis. Among other things, various people will say things like “What pledge card?” if asked . Having said that, it doesn’t mean Chisum couldn’t knock Straus off, just that he’ll need more than bluster to do it. I don’t expect this to go away before the session starts, but neither do I expect it to go anywhere. For now, anyway. Burka, via his colleague Patricia Kilday Hart, has more.

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