Speculating on House committees
Sat January 22, 2011 12:23 am

Sixteen Democrats chaired committees last session. Four were defeated (Gonzalez-Toureilles, McReynolds, Homer, Rose). Two switched parties (Ritter, Hopson). The remainder are Gonzales, Coleman, Deshotel, Davis, Gallego, McClendon, Oliveira, Pickett, Strama, Thompson. Which D's are likely to return as chairs in 2011, regardless of their previous assignment?

Gonzales (Border & Intergovernmental Affairs). Very talented, up-and-coming member. South Texas is important to Straus. She may keep her job.

Coleman (County Affairs). Wasn't crazy about his chairmanship in 09; might prefer to be on Appropriations, Calendars, Public Health.

Davis (Local Government). Got huffy over her '09 chairmanship; might not get one this time.

Deshotel (Business & Industry). Important committee. Might go to a Republican.

Gallego (Criminal Jurisprudence). Appropriations was a weak committee in 09. Gallego was a regular in the Laney years. Pitts needs help to get the bill out of committee. Gallego would be a strong ally.

Hopson (General Investing). Appears to be holding over.

McClendon (Rules & Resolutions). She's from San Antonio. Straus is from San Antonio. Betcha she keeps her chairmanship.

Oliveira (Ways & Means). This was the only major chairmanship for a Democrat. Oliveir worked hard on exemptions from the sales tx. But Tea Party types are still mad about the appointment. A repeat is unlikely.

Pickett (Transportation). If the D's get any major chairmanship this session, this will be it. Pickett is knowledgeable and respected on both sides of the aisle.

Ritter (Natural Resources). Now an R. No one on the 09 committee can approach his expertise.

Strama (Technology, Economic Development & Workforce). Did a good job in 09, but ... right chairman, right subject, wrong party.

Thompson (Local & Consent). She's a House institution, and she gave a seconding speech for Straus as speaker.

More speculation:

Licensing and Regulation: Looking at the membership of the committee in 09, the most likely successor from Kuepel's old committee is Menendez. Dangerous committee for a Republican and for the speaker.

Calendars: Branch seems to be the leader in the clubhouse. He could get anything he wanted. So could Cook.

Redistricting: I don't think it will be that important, because the leadership is likely to kick the can to the Legislative Redistricting Board. Hunter?

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