Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) officially filed her candidacy for Texas House Speaker according to paperwork filed with the Texas Ethics Commission today.
Thompson is not only the first to enter the race for the speakership, but the first Democrat to throw her hat in the ring as Democrat candidates across Texas are striving to secure the majority in the Texas House.
The longest-serving woman in the Texas House, 81-year-old Thompson wields institutional power and currently serves as chair of the Public Health Committee.
She has held numerous leadership positions in the lower chamber, including chair of the Local and Consent Calendar which often puts her at odds with members of the Texas House Freedom Caucus who sought to remove bills from the calendar they deemed inappropriate for the intention of that legislative mechanism.
The Texas House was comprised of 83 Republicans and 67 Democrats during the 2019 legislative session after Democrats gained a whopping 12 seats in the 2018 general election.
Now, Republicans are looking to regain that ground while fending off challengers in other districts as Democrats are a mere nine seats away from securing a majority. The results of November 3 will largely dictate which other members, and the respective party affiliation of each, will also choose to run for the speakership.
Last year, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) faced controversy after a recording was made public of a meeting he held with Empower Texans’ Michael Quinn Sullivan in which the Republican speaker listed 10 GOP state representatives he wanted Sullivan’s group to target.
After denying the claims levied against him and facing backlash from House members and activists, Bonnen announced he would not run for reelection to the Texas House, sparking speculation over who would lead the chamber in 2021.
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McKenzie Taylor serves as Senior Editor and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.