Representative Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) has filed documents to run for speaker of the Texas House, challenging Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont).
On Friday, Tinderholt filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission to officially launch his candidacy.
In a statement released by Tinderholt, he asked the rhetorical question, “Will the priority legislation of the Republican Party of Texas receive a vote on the Texas House floor?”
Tinderholt answered, “The truth is, we have no idea with our current speaker in control. In fact, most Republicans will tell you that they fully expect many important Republican policies to die at the hands of liberal committee chairs appointed by Speaker Phelan.”
“Over 80% of Texas GOP voters have asked the Legislature to pass a rule ending the practice of handing over significant power to Democrats through committee chairmanships, a rule which Phelan has continued to oppose,” the statement continued.
“In conversations with many members of the Texas House,” he continued, “it was revealed that some of them haven’t had a one-on-one conversation with our current speaker since the end of the special session last year.”
Tinderholt’s statement concluded, “It is clear that Texas Republicans need new leadership who will fight for our values. I am running for Speaker of the Texas House to ensure we do the will of our voters and make Texas an even better state.”
Tinderholt is a combat veteran who has served in the Texas House since 2015. He has consistently supported Republican priority legislation and ranked as one of the most conservative Republicans in the chamber, according to his press release.
House calendars committee chairman Dustin Burrows tweeted in response, “You aren’t actually a real candidate for Speaker until at least 20 members will say they are with you.”
The Dallas Express contacted Speaker Phelan’s office for comment but had received no response at the time of publication.