November 11, 2008
Craddick still has his fans

Tom Craddick's most loyal lieutenants are still loyal to him.

Several House Republicans issued a press statement Monday reaffirming their support for Speaker Tom Craddick's re-election.

The list includes 13 Craddick supporters - leaving the Midland Republican short by 63. The list, however, was not intended to be the final word.

Almost everyone on the list is either a chairman or vice-chairman of a House committee and would stand to lose their gavel if Craddick is not re-elected speaker.

"Speaker Craddick has led the House through three regular sessions, four special sessions on school finance and unprecedented efforts to disrupt the House," the members said in their statement.

The full statement and list of names is there. No Craddick Ds are among them, which may or may not mean anything. For sure, Al Edwards will stand by his man. The question is whether there's enough remaining Republicans and other Craddick Ds to add up to 75 members. Karen Brooks thinks there will be, Burka is starting to have some doubts, though he has no faith in the Democratic caucus to be sufficiently unified. All I know is that there's a lot of members unaccounted for. First person to release a list of pledge cards likely wins. Place your bets, place your bets...

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 11, 2008 to That's our Lege

Oddly enough, I had a conversation recently with one of those listed. It is amazing how short the memory is from retribution of previous choices. I was told a change was needed. Now I see support for the same ol', same ol'. Guess I know who I cannot trust this session. Sad that reps feel like they cannot vote their district anymore. It is a novel idea, I know.

Posted by: WOScholar on November 11, 2008 7:56 PM

Just like in sports, the reining champ is the champ until somebody knocks them off.

I'd put the odds at even money or slightly worse that Craddick retains power, which are terrible odds for an incumbent. But everyone else's odds are even MORE of a longshot. Somebody's going to have to take it from him, he's not going to give it away.

My fear is that this will turn into a terrible, high-stakes dogfight that borders on Michael Vick territory. The Speakers race will definitely dominate the early part of session, but quite possibly the struggle for power could dominate the entire 140 days and (again) hinder the ability of the House to manage the business of the state, as happened toward the denouement of last session.

Anyway, Texas political junkies should all get some popcorn, gather round and watch the show. The Speakers race will be the political version of a UFC cage fight. Or perhaps a better analogy would be professional wrestling, where multiple fighters are in the ring at the same time, some of them swinging chains or chairs in a bitter free for all, in this case mediated only modestly by House sergeants and parliamentary procedure.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast on November 12, 2008 9:57 AM
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