Rep. Dennis Bonnen announces he’ll run for Texas House Speaker

October 30, 2018 GMT

AUSTIN — Angleton state Rep. Dennis Bonnen announced Tuesday he will run for House speaker to replace outgoing San Antonio Republican Joe Straus, deepening the pool of candidates who could run the Texas House in the 2019 legislative session.

Bonnen has served in the Texas House for more than 20 years and was a top lieutenant for Straus, who opted not to run for re-election this year.

Bonnen, a Republican, said in May he was not interested in the job but changed course after a coalition of some 40 GOP House members reportedly gathered to discuss recruiting him for the job, according to the Texas Tribune.

The race for House speaker is expected to heat up after the Nov. 6 election. Republicans, who now make up about two-thirds of the House, are expected to meet Dec. 1 to choose their preferred candidate for speaker. A speaker will be voted on by 150 House members in January when the legislature reconvenes.

On HoustonChronicle.com: Joe Straus departure a political earthquake in clubby Austin

Other candidates for speaker include: Republican Reps. Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches, Drew Darby of San Angelo, Phil King of Weatherford, Tan Parker of Flower Mound, Four Price of Amarillo and Democrat Eric Johnson of Dallas. Republican Rep. John Zerwas, of Richmond, stepped down from the race Monday.