Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick has given up his hard-fought bid for a fourth term.
Craddick aides and allies say the Midland oilman told supporters he lacked enough votes among his fellow members to remain in the powerful job.
State Representative Will Hartnett’s a longtime Craddick supporter. He said last night that Craddick “decided it was getting too tight.”
Craddick’s the longest serving Republican in state elective office in Texas and the first Republican to lead the House since the Civil War era.
He’d been campaigning for another term as the presiding officer over the 150-member chamber, but his dwindling support became insurmountable as Representative Joe Straus gained strength.
Shortly before word of Craddick’s surrender spread, Straus released a list of 85 pledges of support, more than enough to win the election on January 13th. The San Antonio Republican’s a
relative newcomer to the political arena, gained strength.
Republicans hold a 76-74 majority in the House. The narrow partisan split and divided GOP loyalties mean House Democrats will play a decisive role. All but four House Democrats endorsed Straus.
Most Republicans threw their support behind veteran Representative John Smithee. The Amarillo Republican entered the race yesterday, and Craddick’s allies say he also endorsed Smithee.