Difference between revisions of "Joe Straus"

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{{Short office holder |
  name                = Joe Straus |
  name                = Joe Straus |
  profile image      = |
  profile image      = Joe Straus, TX Rep.jpg |
  political position  = Texas House of Representatives District 121 |
  political position  = Texas House of Representatives District 121 |
  incumbency          = Incumbent |
  incumbency          = Incumbent |

Revision as of 18:30, 8 July 2011

Joe Straus
Joe Straus, TX Rep.jpg
Texas House of Representatives District 121
Assumed office
Current term ends
January 11, 2013
Political party Republican
Profession Legislator
Website Joe Straus
Joe Straus is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 121 since winning a special election in February 2005. He is the current Speaker of the House.

Straus has worked as Deputy Director of Business Liaison and Assistant to the Commissioner of Customs for the United States Department of Commerce.

He is a member of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center Advisory Board, San Antonio Zoological Society Board of Directors, Southwest School of Art and Craft Advisory Board, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center Advisory Board, Texas Nature Conservancy Board of Directors, Winston School Board of Directors, and member of National Financial Partners.[1]

Issue positions

Straus did not provide answers to the 2008 Political Courage Test. The test provides voters with how a candidate would vote on the issues if elected.[2]

81st Legislature (2009-2010)

  • HB 122 - Relating to the use of certain court costs in a criminal case for municipal programs enhancing public safety and security.
  • HB 135 - Relating to the elimination of straight-party voting.
  • HB 346 - Relating to the refund of the sales taxes imposed on real property repair and remodeling services for certain energy efficient facilities.
  • HB 347 - Relating to the establishment of railroad quiet zones outside the boundaries of certain municipalities.
  • HCR 123 - Honoring the recipients of the 2009 Texas Medal of Arts Awards.
  • HR 4 - In memory of Dulcenea Maria "Nellie" Munoz of Georgetown.
  • HR 498 - Congratulating Alan W. Dreeben of San Antonio on his receipt of the Chairman's Award from the Texas State University System.
  • HR 1139 - Congratulating Dr. Lee E. Henderson on the occasion of his retirement from Prairie View A&M University.
  • HR 1279 - Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille and recognizing the Braille Revival League of Texas.
  • HR 2261 - Congratulating Representative Norma Chavez on her graduation from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2009.
  • HR 2416 - Commemorating the baptism of Ella Rachel Drai of Houston. [3]



See also: Texas House of Representatives elections, 2010

Straus won re-election in District 121. He was unopposed in the March 2 Republican primary and defeated Libertarian Barry Allison in the November 2 general election.[4]

Texas House of Representatives, District 121
2010 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Joe Straus (R) 32,713 100%


On November 4, 2008, Straus won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives from the 121st District, receiving 44,472 votes ahead of Libertarian Arthur Thomas IV (11,380).[5] He raised $378,593 for his campaign.[6]

Texas House of Representatives, District 121
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Joe Straus (R) 44,472 79.62%
Arthur M. Thomas, IV 11,380 20.37%

Campaign donors


Straus raised $378,593 in 2008. His top 5 campaign contributors are listed below.[7]

Contributor 2008 total
Charles C Butt $15,000
AIM Investment Services $13,896
AT&T $12,000
Frost National Bank $9,915
Valero Energy $7,500

Legislative sessions

82nd (2011-2012)

2011 speaker race

Straus was elected Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives for a second term at the start of the 82nd legislative session on January 11, 2010 in a 132-15 vote. The lead up to the speaker vote was a hot and heavily covered political issue in Texas, but finished anticlimactically. Ken Paxton of District 70 and Warren Chisum of District 88 challenged Straus for the speaker seat by calling his conservative principles into question and promising leadership that more closely reflected the conservative Republican majority. While the rhetoric remained high amongst conservative activists and a handful of representatives right until the vote, both Chisum and Paxton dropped out of the race prior to the formal vote after it was overwhelmingly apparent Straus would keep his speaker seat.[8]

A showdown between Republican conservatives and moderates had been brewing since the day Joe Straus grabbed the gavel from Tom Craddick in 2009 in a move that soured conservatives across Texas. Straus had long been accused of being a RINO (Republican In Name Only). This perception amongst many Texas conservatives was at the heart of the tensions in the 2011 Speaker race. As evidence for their case Straus' opponents pointed to the fact the he became Speaker with just 11 moderate Republican votes and 65 Democrats.[9] Opponents also placed blame with Straus for the failure of pet conservative legislation during his first term as Speaker, such as voter identification and requiring women to view a sonogram before receiving an abortion.[10]

In response to these claims Straus pointed out that the makeup of the House was much different in 2009 when Republicans held only a slight 76-74 majority over Democrats. Straus, and his supporters contended that such across the aisle cooperation was required to effectively lead in the political environment of the time. Straus maintained that his commitment to conservative principles was unwavering. Supporters pointed to his work with conservative groups and donations to conservative causes in response to the repeated RINO allegations.[11]

External links

Suggest a link


Political offices
Preceded by
Texas House District 121
Succeeded by