GOP chairman calls on House candidates to honor the caucus

James Dickey
Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey

The chairman of the Republican Party of Texas says state House members need to support their caucus in selecting a successor to retiring Speaker Joe Straus.

“The party’s base has very clearly said it is the will of the voters that representatives honor the selection of the caucus,” RPT Chairman James Dickey told The Texas Monitor.

“It would be a significant act of defiance and hubris for an elected representative to take a position opposed to the voters.”

With Straus’ departure from the House next year, a wide-open speaker contest is in the making. Two candidates — Rep. Phil King of Weatherford and John Zerwas of Richmond — have announced for the job. More, perhaps many more, are expected to enter the race.

Straus, R-San Antonio, relied on a solid bloc of minority Democrats to win and retain his position as head of the House. Dickey says Republicans need to be united now.

“When House candidates file for office, we will ask them whether they will commit or not commit to supporting the [speaker] choice of caucus,” Dickey revealed. The “pledge” is posted on

A five-member working group of the caucus this month proposed a non-binding selection process. The House Caucus is scheduled to discuss the recommendation on Dec. 2.

“Republican representatives on the floor need to vote the results of the caucus,” Dickey said.

“This is not about a personality; it’s about the process,” he added. “The majority party determines the speaker as a group.”

Dickey said he is “glad it appears to be a healthy race. We believe in healthy competition.”

Meantime, the State Republican Executive Committee will meet — also on Dec. 2 — to consider primary election ballot measures. Among the items could be a ballot measure on the process for selecting the speaker of the House.

“It’s a significant enough issue that the SREC might decide to put it on the ballot,” Dickey said. The final ballot issues, and any applicable wording, would be decided by the SREC at the Dec. 2 meeting.

Neither King nor Zerwas responded to The Texas Monitor’s request for comment on the speaker selection discussions.


    • Mr. Brophy, I sir am an adult. I am highly educated, I operate on a level of reason higher than many.
      The rest of the country spoke in the 2016 elections , it is only the socialistic liberal Democrats who cannot accept that truth.
      Liberals have gotten so convoluted in their reasoning and debauchery that they have finally awaken that silent middle America that was and will continue to be their downfall .
      Which strangely liberals have enabled by their narcissistic , immature , and unrealistic responses to their defeat.
      The depravity and perverseness of the liberal have sunken to the lowest level since the ancient Roman empire.
      I suggest sir , that it may well be you, and those who hold your mind set , that needs to act their age.
      I bid you adieu .

    • I beg to differ …The Speaker is selected by the majority party alone, not by a majority from both parties. If you really believe that Democrats would “reach out across the aisle” you are deluding yourself.

    • Texas is already purple. It is only by fixing the rules of the game in their favor that Republicans have kept the state’s government as red as it is.

      And what’s this nonsense about “weeding people out?” This is not some banana republic; it’s (supposed to be) a free country where people are free to live in whichever state they want and vote however they want. I, for instance, have lived here all my life, am as progressive as they come, and have no intention of going anywhere.

  1. Unacceptable! We have been betrayed by the GOP lawmakers. They have not honored the constitution or the oath they took to protect Texans. We must remove Abbott/administration/ and the GOP lawmakers to take control of our country! Vote blue!!

  2. Not this part of the base. Too many self serving, half truthers in that group. This meme is a great example of mymoptic thinking. Most republicans are not in your camp. Learn to distinguish national politics from state and local politics or you will turn Texas blue very soon.


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