For five hours Friday night Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick survived several attempts to boot him from office. At some points, house members had to be physically restrained from storming the speaker's podium. House Parliamentarian Denise Davis and her assistant resigned after Craddick continued to ignore their parliamentary advice. Saturday night Lubbock Rep. Delwin Jones has thrown his hat in the ring to become the next speaker of the house.
Rep. Fred Hill, (R) Richardson said, "As a question of privilege, I move to declare the office of speaker vacant."
Not since 1871 have those words been uttered in the House Chamber and been successful.
Hill added, "Would you accept that motion?"
Craddick replied, "I will not recognize you for that motion."
"The Insurgents" as they're called, are a group of representatives trying to oust Craddick. So far they've been unsuccessful.
Rep. Delwin Jones, (R) Lubbock said, "He will be able to hold the gravel because he refuses to recognize anybody for a motion to vacate the chair."
Jones says that the membership of the entire house, from both parties alike is up-in-arms over Craddick's dictatorial leadership over the house.
Jones added, "2/3 vote can remove him from the chair but he won't recognize anybody for that motion."
In a statement from Craddick's office Saturday he says: "The Speaker's position is that he will see to it that the House conducts the important business of the state. The other side wants to go outside the House Rules to carry out a speaker's race during the session, and we are not going to play that game."
The other side being virtually every member of the house, but what happens if the house is successful in removing Craddick from office? Another speaker will have to be chosen and so far, five house members, including Rep. Jones have thrown their hats in the ring for consideration.
Jones said, "If you're going to be a candidate for speaker you must file a document with the ethics commission stating that you're a candidate. My document said I'm a candidate for the 80th and the 81st session."
That gives Rep. Jones a shot during this session or the next.
Jones added, "I think we'll come to a point where a dark horse person like myself could be the choice of the majority."
But no matter who the next speaker may be, the clear opinion of virtually the entire house is anyone would be better than Craddick.
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