Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen To Not Seek Reelection

NewsRadio 1080 KRLD
October 22, 2019 - 8:03 am
Texas State Capitol

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AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Texas House Speaker Rep. Dennis Bonnen announced that he will not seek re-election to the Texas House of Representatives in a statement released early Tuesday morning. 

Republicans in the state House voted to condemn Bonnen on Monday over a recording of him scheming against his moderate colleagues, but they didn't have the votes to accept his resignation.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning. In a statement, the Republican from Angleton said he's not running for reelection. He said he cares "deeply" about the work they've accomplished over the years, but that his colleagues have made clear that it's in his and the legislature's "best interest" to move on. He also thanked them for the "respectful way in which they convinced him" to do so.

"Since Friday, I have had numerous conversations with Members who care deeply about the Texas House, and I respect the manner in which they have handled this entire situation. After much prayer, consultation, and thoughtful consideration wth my family, it is clear that I can no longer seek re-election as Sate Representative of District 25, and subsequently, as Speaker of the House" Bonnen's statement read.

"I care deeply about this body and the work we have accomplished over the years, namely, the outstanding success we achieved in the 86th Legislature. My below colleagues have made clear that it is in the best interest of both myself and the House to move on, and I thank them for the respectful and thoughtful way in which they have convinced me to do so." 

University of Houston Political Science Professor Brandon Rottinghaus explains why lawmakers might not have accepted Bonnen's resignation on Monday. "If it's the case that [Republicans] took the Speaker out, then they would have a Democratic Speaker... and all of a sudden, Republicans start to lose elections."

The controversy surrounding Bonnen started in late July when news of a secret recording between activist Michael Quinn Sullivan, who heads the group Empower Texans, and Bonnen became public. Sullivan claimed Bonnen and state Rep. Dustin Burrows from Lubbock suggested Empower Texans go after a list of ten House Republicans. In exchange, Sullivan said they told him that his group could have media access in 2021.

Sullivan released the recording of the June meeting last week. Bonnen said he did nothing wrong.

The Texas Rangers are investigating.