Yes, Straus won today, but his victory will not be certain until the nominations cease tomorrow and the votes are counted. And another candidate could be nominated tomorrow. Here is what is going on: Bryan Hughes has been calling the trial lawyers. He is trying to get the trials to get the Democrats to vote for Paxton for speaker. This would be about as strange as bedfellows can get. It would really put the tea party to the test, since what they have been hearing all along is that Straus was elected by eleven Republicans and 65 Democrats. Is this what they got involved for, to organize on behalf of a speaker who would be elected by Democrats? Would Michael Quinn Sullivan and Peggy Venable promote this union? As the saying goes, in politics you have to know when to rise above principle. This is a reprise of what happened in the days before the 2009 session began. Paxton was trying to put together a group that could make a deal with the Democrats. Gattis had a group. Straus and the cardinals were stuck at 68 votes, but some of the Democrats were still wobbly. Only a late-night phone call nailed down the 76th vote. After that, it was a done deal. If the Democrats are going to make a deal, the key players would be likely be Martinez-Fischer, Joaquin Castro, and Villareal. But Senfronia Thompson is a big Straus supporter, and she wouldn’t look kindly on an alliance with Paxton. The speaker’s race may not be over yet.
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