Craddick Survives Spectacle on Texas House Floor

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AUSTIN -- After a rough battle over House Speaker Tom Craddick's political career over night, lawmakers resumed business Saturday with the veteran Republican still presiding.

Craddick survived a House rebellion against his leadership with a display of the bare-knuckle tenacity. He gaveled in the day's session at 11:15 a.m.

Earlier, he appeared at ease when he and wife Nadine took a photograph with the House sargeant-at-arms staff. Their laughing and joking with staff belied the drama that unfolded the night before in a bold five-hour rebellion that sought to boot him from office.

The wild spectacle saw staff restrain insurgent lawmakers trying to overtake the speaker's podium and the House parliamentarian nearly pushed to tears before resigning.

Republican Representative Fred Hill had made a parliamentary request that would allow the 150-member chamber to vote to oust Craddick.

Craddick refused to recognize Hill to make the motion. Hill next asked to allow the House to vote to appeal the speaker, which would have required a two-thirds vote of the body.

By the time the House adjourned shortly before 1:30 a.m., Craddick had beaten back his opponents, but not before a series of raucous scenes unfolded in the chamber.