AUSTIN (KXAN) - Though he won the primary election in his San Antonio district, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, is now facing a new challenge – already drawing an opponent in the race for speaker.
Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, filed his papers with the Texas Ethics Commission to declare his candidacy on Saturday. Straus, who will likely seek a third term as speaker – if he first wins in the general election in November against Libertarian Arthur Thomas IV – had no opponents in the race to lead the lower chamber until now.
Several of Straus' chief lieutenants went down to defeat Tuesday, but the speaker attempted to put a positive spin on that during a meeting with reporters on Wednesday.
"Another large class of new House members, which brings with it a lot of energy and enthusiasm and, in my opinion, a lot of talent among those I've begun to get to know," he said.
Just before the 2011 legislative session, Straus had serious competition from Reps. Warren Chisum and Ken Paxton, though both dropped out before the session's first day. Neither will be worry for Straus this year, as Paxton is running for state Senate and Chisum is headed for a July runoff against Christi Craddick for Texas Railroad Commission.
Hughes has been a House member since 2002. He sent a letter to his colleagues on Election Day:
Dear Fellow Member of the House,
I am writing to let you know that I have filed a Declaration of Intent to run for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives for the 83rd Legislature. It is important to me that you know about this before it's made public.
In the coming days I look forward to visiting with you about our shared vision for the House.
In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions for me, or if I can be of any help to you.
Sincerely, Bryan Hughes
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