Simp­son run­ning for speaker

Tea party fa­vorite says he’s chal­leng­ing Straus for top lead­er­ship post in the state House.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - Bytim Ea­ton teaton@states­ GOP Rep. David Simp­son (left) of Longview says two-term House Speaker Joe Straus leads by in­tim­i­da­tion. Simp­son

East Texas state Rep. David Simp­son said as re­cently as last week that he would pray to God about en­ter­ing the race to be­come the next speaker of the Texas House.

Af­ter seek­ing di­vine guid­ance, Simp­son said Mon­day that he is of­fi­cially in the run- ning to be head of the law­mak­ing cham­ber.

Simp­son, a tea party fa­vorite and one of the House’s most con­ser­va­tive mem­bers, presents a chal­lenge to twoterm Speaker Joe Straus from the ul­tra-con­ser­va­tive side of the Repub­li­can Party. Straus, a Repub­li­can from San An­to­nio, has been crit­i­cized by con­ser­va­tive groups for be­ing elected with sup­port from Democrats. Mean­while, some Democrats have slammed the speaker for push­ing an overly con­ser­va­tive agenda.

“I re­spect Speaker Straus as a fel­low leg­is­la­tor; how­ever, we diffier on the way that the House should be led. And I am not alone in that opin­ion,” Simp­son said in a state­ment emailed to re­porters. “The cul­ture of ‘go along to get along’ pol­i­tics, where mem­bers face in­tim­i­da­tion and retri­bu­tion should they dis­agree with a

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