|Texas State House, District 121|
|2005 - Present|
|January 11, 2013|
|Years in position||9|
|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.
Straus' website highlights the following campaign themes:
- Excerpt:"At a time when the most divisive voices seem to dominate politics, Joe Straus sets a different, respectful tone. He works to bring people together and get things done. He’s a principled, effective leader who gets results, and we can all be proud to have him representing us."
- Excerpt:"Joe Straus is a strong fiscal conservative who most recently led the Texas House of Representatives to balance the State budget by cutting more than $14 billion in spending instead of raising taxes. He’s one of the few Legislators ever to lead efforts to abolish a tax, saving taxpayers roughly $200 million a year thanks to his passage of legislation that abolished the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund tax once it had served its purpose."
- Excerpt:"At a time when other areas of the budget were getting fewer dollars, Joe made public schools a top priority. Although legislators were not able to fully fund the existing formulas for enrollment growth, they did provide additional funds to our public schools at a time when many other areas lost dollars."
Jobs & Economy
- Excerpt:"Joe Straus is a champion of policies that encourage job creation and economic growth. He knows that it’s the small business owners, entrepreneurs and private sector that create jobs – not government – so he works to keep the tax burden low and state laws and regulations fair and reasonable. He’s focused on improving statewide economic development efforts and attracting more high-paying manufacturing jobs to Texas."
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. 
Straus ran in the 2012 election for Texas House of Representatives, District 121. Straus defeated Matt Beebe in the May 29 primary election and defeated Arthur M. Thomas, IV in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.
|Texas House of Representatives District 121 Republican Primary, 2012|
|Joe Straus Incumbent||62.9%||10,366|
| 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%|
In 2010, Straus received $5,265,357 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.
|Texas House of Representatives 2010 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Joe Straus's campaign in 2010|
|Perry, Bob J||$77,500|
|Texas Association Of Realtors||$75,000|
|Pitcock Jr, James Douglass||$50,000|
|Total Raised in 2010||$5,265,357|
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
- joestraus.org - Issues
- Texas Legislature - Bills Authored/Joint Authored by Rep. Straus
- KETK, "Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus endorses Romney," February 21, 2012
- Texas GOP list of candidates for 2012 Elections
- Office of the (Texas) Secretary of State, "Race Summary Report," accessed July 12, 2012
- Official Texas Election Results
- Texas House official election results for 2008
- District 121 Texas House candidate funds, 2008
- Follow the Money - 2010 Contributions
- 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
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