|Texas State House, District 121|
|2005 - Present|
|January 11, 2013|
|Years in position||10|
|Per diem||$150 per day|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 6, 2012|
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.
| Texas House of Representatives, District 121 |
2010 General election results
|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). He raised $378,593 for his campaign.
|Texas House of Representatives, District 121|
|Joe Straus (R)||44,472||79.62%|
|Arthur M. Thomas, IV||11,380||20.37%|
Straus raised $378,593 in 2008. His top 5 campaign contributors are listed below.
|Charles C Butt||$15,000|
|AIM Investment Services||$13,896|
|Frost National Bank||$9,915|
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.
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. 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.
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.
- Joe Straus's campaign website
- Texas House of Representatives - Rep. Straus
- Biography from Project Vote Smart
- Legislative profile from Project Vote Smart
- Campaign Contributions: 2008, 2006
- Freedom Speaks profile
- Joe Straus on Twitter
- Texas State Directory profile
- Texas Political Almanac HD 121 page
- Texas Tribune profile & bio
- Vote-TX.org profile
- State Surge profile
- Joe Straus on Twitter
- Project Vote Smart - Rep. Straus
- Official Texas Election Results
- Texas House official election results for 2008
- District 121 Texas House candidate funds, 2008
- Follow the Money - 2008 Campaign contributions
- Texas Tribune, "Straus formally voted speaker", January 11, 2010
- 'Houston Chronicle, "2 Texas House members jump to GOP", December 14, 2010
- The Statesman, "Non-Texans take interest in House speaker's race" January 4th, 2011
- Texas Insider, "Speaker's race update", December 1, 2010
|Texas House District 121
| Succeeded by|
State of Texas
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