The selection of a speaker will be one of the first orders of business in the 150-member House on Tuesday when lawmakers open their 140-day biennial session to deal with state spending and host of other issues.
Although Straus is favored to easily retain his post in the GOP-controlled House, Simpson’s challenge perpetuates an element of conservative dissent that has periodically dogged the speaker through his two terms in the leadership post. A threatened conservative uprising in 2011 evaporated when Straus’ two challengers withdrew.
Rep.-elect Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, a Democrat who will represent the new district in east Tarrant County, says he plans to cast his vote for the incumbent speaker and is calling for a more bipartisan approach in the Republican-controlled House to deal with issues such as health care, education and transportation.
“I think Straus is clearly going to be elected speaker again'” he said.