November 7, 2018


Texas House Speaker Joe Straus: Texas and the Republican Party are "moving in opposite directions" (ALEX SAMUELS NOV. 7, 2018, Taxes Tribune)

Republicans in the Texas House were dealt a big blow Tuesday night, losing 12 seats to Democrats and two in the Texas Senate.

Joe Straus, the Republican who has presided over the House for nearly a decade, said that's because win-at-all-cost politics may be effective at the state level, but "it creates carnage down-ballot in a changing state where a Republican Party and the state of Texas are moving in opposite directions."

The "small issues" that were popular among Republican primary voters didn't resonate in November, he said.

"Something had to give sooner or later," Straus said Wednesday morning.

In a wide-ranging conversation in his Capitol office with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith for the pilot episode of the Tribune's new podcast, Point of Order, Straus launched jabs at two fellow Republicans: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and President Donald Trump. Straus, who is leaving the House in January, declined to weigh in on who should succeed him as the leader of the lower chamber.

He lamented that the Texas House and Senate were unable to find common ground on divisive political issues. Patrick, who presides over the Senate, should "listen more and talk less," Straus said.

Tuesday's election results might have been a direct reprimand of policies pushed by the Trump administration, he said. The Democratic pick-ups in the House Tuesday marked the biggest shift in the lower chamber since the 2010 midterm elections, when Republicans picked up more than 20 House seats. Straus decried Trump rallies that he said showcased "borderline racism."

Posted by at November 7, 2018 5:22 PM