NewsChannel 11 has just heard from State Representative Delwin Jones that the other candidates for speaker, Representatives John Smithee and Dan Gattis, are withdrawing, making Joe Straus of San Antonio the new speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
Tom Craddick became speaker in 2003 and is the longest serving republican in a state elective office. Many house members opposing Craddick's leadership started a group called the ABC coalition, or "Anybody but Craddick."
The official election of speaker will take place on January 13th, the first day of the 2009 legislative session. But again, State Representative Delwin Jones says Representative Joe Straus will be next speaker.