This report is unconfirmed. I received it around 6 o’clock this evening. I left a phone message at Hancock’s district office seeking confirmation. A source writes: “A friend of mine in the Dallas area told me that Kelly Hancock spoke to the Metroplex Republican Women today and said that the Speaker’s race was over. The crowd was not happy.” * * * * In fact, the speaker’s race has been over since election night. The belief that if the Republican numbers were high enough, Straus could be defeated, proved to be wrong. But if the current speaker’s race is over, the next one is just beginning. The hard-right anti-Straus element in the House and outside the Capitol will never accept him as speaker, just as the ABCs were never going to accept Craddick. It is likely that Straus’s opponents will find a pretext to move to vacate the chair at some point during the session. This is going to be total war between the two sides. The difference between now and 2009 is that the chair has the more political talent and intelligence on his side than Craddick (who was always a loner) did, while in 09 those advantages rested with the insurgents. But the opposition to Straus has an advantage in the contentiousness of the issues facing the House, providing them with numerous opportunities to test the conservative bona fides of the Straus team.