Texas Speaker Race Heats Up

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUSTIN -- Both Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick and his new rival claimed Saturday that they were winning the race to lead the Texas House of Representatives.

Rep. Joe Straus of San Antonio, a relative newcomer to the Texas Legislature, declared in a statement sent to The Associated Press that he had amassed 76 votes -- half of the 150-member chamber plus one.

The vote officially takes place on Jan. 13, opening day of the next legislative session. But the political jockeying has turned into a full sprint over the last two days.

About three hours earlier, Craddick spokeswoman Alexis DeLee had said the speaker was well on his way to a fourth term as speaker.

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