With Joe Straus and Byron Cook out of the Running, Whom Will Voters Choose as Replacements?
Yesterday, State Representative and Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus (District 121 – San Antonio) announced he would not run again, and that five terms were “enough” for him. On the same day, Rep. Byron Cook (Dist. 8 – Corsicana), who has served faithfully under Straus as one of his key Committee Chairmen, announced that he would not seek reelection again to the Texas House of Representatives.
Though both men claim to be Republicans, many conservative members of the Party are overjoyed with their withdrawal from the election to the lower legislative chamber, and consider it a win for conservatism.
More than 80 Texas conservative grassroots groups, GOP Clubs, and County Republican Executive Committees across the State have in recent months, met for the specific purpose of voting “No Confidence” in Straus’ leadership or to “Censure” him. More socially and fiscally conservative candidates are considering campaign announcements and one in Cook’s district has been in full swing for some time before Straus and Cook announced they would not be running.
Labeled “obstructionists” by groups such as Texas Eagle Forum and Empower Texans, Straus and Cook have not revealed whether they will seek another office. Byron Cook said in an article published by Palestine Herald-Press, “I will pursue other opportunities to serve our great state.” According to the Star-Telegram, “Straus said he plans to remain politically involved and hasn’t ruled out a future bid for another political office.”
Seeking the 8th District’s House seat, is Thomas McNutt, the current Collin Street Bakery Vice President. Texas Eagle Forum yesterday, sent out email announcements of Cook’s retirement, along with the following letter from McNutt:
Today Chairman Cook announced he will not seek re-election to the State House. I can’t tell you how encouraging the last 6 months has been. We have built coalitions in every single county and have hundreds of donors and supporters in this District helping us spread our conservative message.
I will now be sprinting to the finish line for the next 4 months, knocking on doors and raising funds like never before striving to earn the support of each and every one of you.
Please keep us in your prayers. Conservatives have won this fight but the battle is far from over.
Time will tell if more candidates line up in the race for Districts 8 and 121 State Representatives. The deadline for candidates to file for the March 6, 2018 Primary Election is from November 11 – December 11. The first day of early voting is February 20 through March 2.