Another state representative has thrown their name into contention for the Texas House speakership as Business & Industry Committee Chairman Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) announced his candidacy today.
“Texans are making history. We are on the verge of winning a Democratic majority for the first time in almost two decades. It is time to begin a new chapter in our state’s history by electing a Democratic House Speaker,” he tweeted Monday afternoon after filing his paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission.
Martinez Fischer has represented House District 116 since 2008, with the exception of the 85th legislative session after an unsuccessful bid for the Texas Senate. In 2018, Martinez Fischer narrowly defeated incumbent state Rep. Diana Arévalo (D-San Antonio) who had secured the seat in his vacancy.
In the 86th Legislature Martinez Fischer led the effort to strip the de minimis rate from Senate Bill 2, which would’ve allowed smaller taxing entities to raise property taxes exponentially despite the bill’s overall effort to limit tax growth. The amendment failed to pass.
Last Friday, fellow Democrat Rep. Senfronia Thompson filed paperwork for the post.
Martinez Fischer acknowledged the challenge of the race, stating, “I expect several of my colleagues to enter this race, and I welcome that constructive debate. There are many talented, good-hearted public servants in the Texas House. Chief among them is Chairwoman Senfronia Thompson. I will never stop working to meet the needs of Texas. I look forward to the conversation with my colleagues, both current and future, over the coming days. It is time to begin a new chapter in our state’s history by electing a Democratic House Speaker.”
In 2018, Texas Democrats gained 12 seats in the House and are keen on flipping the remaining nine to take the majority.
The post will be open due to current House Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s reelection forbearance after a recording of a quid pro quo meeting between the speaker and Empower Texans’ Michael Quinn Sullivan was released.
That vacuum has provided fertile ground for a crowded race to fill the void, particularly as the Texas House majority is more hotly contested than it has been since 2002.
No Republican has yet announced their candidacy, but Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo), a rumored candidate, has indicated he will not pursue the speakership.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.