December 4, 2020

State Rep. Senfronia Thompson files to run for speaker of the Texas House

State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, the longest-serving girl and Black individual within the historical past of the Texas Legislature, filed Friday to run for speaker of the Texas Home, making her the primary to enter what’s been a quiet race up to now to interchange retiring Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton.

Thompson, a Houston Democrat, has filed forward of a November common election through which Democrats are assured they may regain management of the Home for the primary time in practically 20 years. If elected, she can be the primary Black girl to function speaker.

Thompson’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Thompson will not be the one candidate anticipated to enter the race, which has had a special tempo and tone from the final one in 2018. The uncertainty surrounding which celebration might be in command of the decrease chamber in 2021 has saved the race comparatively quiet; by this time two years in the past, a number of candidates had already declared that they had been in search of the gavel.

After Bonnen, mired in a political scandal, introduced his retirement final 12 months, hypothesis started over who would substitute the one-term speaker.

Thompson, identified higher as “Ms. T” to colleagues and different Capitol goers, has served within the chamber since 1973, making her the second longest-serving member within the Home. She has been talked about repeatedly amongst each Republicans and Democrats as a possible candidate, with members pointing to her legislative expertise and inroads with colleagues as maybe her finest case for a Home that has a difficult agenda heading into the 2021 legislative session.

That 140-day stretch, set to start in January, will all however actually characteristic powerful debates in regards to the thousands and thousands of {dollars} in shortfalls projected to the state finances, responding to the continuing coronavirus pandemic and redrawing the state’s political maps. One of many first items of enterprise for the 150-member Home might be to elect a brand new chief.

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