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Straus Readies Himself For Heated Primary Battle At Home

Ryan E. Poppe
Speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus

The announcement that Straus was seeking reelection came shortly after the 2015 legislative session, but the campaign didn’t begin to ramp up its efforts until January.   

Speaking at the Texas Association of Business legislative conference Thursday, Straus urged the state’s business leaders to become more involved in the states political and legislative process and to not allow special interest groups, lobbyists, and think tanks to take over the Texas Legislature.

“There is one small matter between now and the next legislative session and, of course, I’m talking about the elections.  As a state and as a country we are facing some very, very important decisions.  I’m not here to tell you whom to vote for, but I want to encourage you to do more than just spend a few minutes in the voting booth, your voices and the business community need to be heard," Straus stressed.

Credit Jeff Judson
Texas House District 121 Republican hopeful, Jeff Judson

One of people looking to unseat Straus in the Texas House is Tea Party-backed Jeff Judson, who accuses Straus of being too close with lobbyist groups in Austin.

“The lobbyists and the trade associations, they’re very seductive.  And they are fun to hang out with and pretty soon you start hanging out with them more than you do with the people back home and you get out of touch," Judson said.

Responding to his opponents accusations, Straus told reporters: “I’m very proud of the colleagues I have in the Texas House who have worked to take on transportation, to make some meaningful reforms in education, none of these people have talked about those issues.  What they really don’t like is the fact that they don’t have a puppet they can control.” 

Straus is sitting on just over $8.9 million in campaign funds and has already begun to blanket the airwaves with political ads; Judson’s campaign has managed to raise just over $60,000 in campaign donations.

Early voting for the primary elections begins in February.