SAN ANTONIO - Just one week before the start of the special session, Bexar County Republicans are calling upon Texas House lawmakers to replace Speaker of the House Joe Straus, a fellow Republican.
"I don't see it as a personal attack on Joe himself. I see it as an attack on the conservative values that have not been spoken," said Republican precinct chair Patty Gibbons.
The group, which voted for the Speaker's removal on Monday night, cited Straus' failure to tow the party platform.
"I think it was a very small group. When you're looking at the representation of our 244 precinct chairs had. What we generally do is if you're going to want something on the agenda you submit it a month head of time," said Robert Stovall The Chairman of the Republican party in Bexar County.
Straus has come out against the so called bathroom bill during the regular session. Gibbons said she respects Straus but the vote is a result of his politics.
"I think they tend to be more democrat then republican in nature and I don't think that he yields a lot to the more conservative wing of the party," Gibbons said.
One person who was at Monday night's vote said it was unexpected and came at the end of a long meeting, when a lot of party members had left.
The resolution, basically condemning Straus, passed by eight votes.
Jason Embry, Straus’ communications director, released the following statement:
Speaker Straus understands that voicing concerns about harmful bathroom bills is unpopular with some, but he was elected to act in the best interest of District 121 and the state of Texas. Speaker Straus won last year's Republican primary in District 121 by 32 points and appreciates the strong support he continues to receive in the district he represents. While it may be difficult to find anyone who agrees with 100 percent of the party platform, nobody has worked harder than Speaker Straus to enact plank 120 in the platform, which says "school districts that have an adequate tax base should be free to manage their finances without any state recapture of local funds. Those districts that do not have sufficient tax base should be provided resources from general state revenues to meet the Texas Constitution's requirement of an efficient system of public free schools." Speaker Straus looks forward to taking action in the upcoming special session on school finance and other issues important to the state of Texas.
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