Straus Departure Impacts State Democrats

The unexpected retirement of the leading moderate Republican in Texas politics comes as Democrats struggle to find candidates to fill a statewide 2018 ballot while unwavering conservatives line up big donors and have few rivals.

Republican House Speaker Joe Straus announced his departure just months after he scuttled a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people.

Texas Democrats grew to embrace the five-term speaker as a check on conservatives but now the stakes surrounding a successor are high since the chances of Democrats or GOP moderates seizing power in 2018 elections are low. The Texas Legislature is scheduled to reconvene in 2019.



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