Ruby is Best for Texas 6th Congressional District

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

House turns up heat on speaker

Rivals line up for Craddick's job as call made for him to quit
By KAREN BROOKS / The Dallas Morning News - Monday, May 21, 2007

AUSTIN – The slow drip of speaker politics turned into a steady stream Monday, when a North Texas lawmaker announced his intent to run for House speaker before the session ends in a week and two of his colleagues said they may follow suit.

And in a rare personal privilege speech, Rep. Byron Cook, a committee chairman under Speaker Tom Craddick, called for the Midland Republican to resign his leadership post. He said the House had been damaged by "tyranny and bullying [and] threats" from the speaker's team in recent weeks.

Earlier, Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, who waged an unsuccessful campaign to unseat the speaker in January, said that he filed his papers for a speaker's race in case House Republicans follow through on threats to remove Mr. Craddick. Plano GOP Rep. Brian McCall – the first Republican to challenge the speaker last year before turning his support over to Mr. Pitts – said he would "probably" do the same.

House Ways and Means Chairman Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, has already filed his intent to run for speaker in 2009. But when asked if he would get into the race earlier if the seat becomes vacant, Mr. Keffer said, "We're looking at it."
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