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