The heir-apparent in the Texas House speaker's race -- Rep. Joe Straus of San Antonio -- is laying out his vision for a new era of bipartisan leadership in the Texas House.
Straus has become the front runner after state Reps. John Smithee and Dan Gattis abandoned their race for the post.
Straus announced Monday that 94 representatives, nearly two-thirds of the chamber, supported his candidacy now that Speaker Tom Craddick has dropped out of the race. The official vote doesn't take place until Jan. 13.
In a triumphant news conference in the state capitol today, Straus vowed to reduce the influence of special interests.
Straus says he plans to meet with every member of the Texas
House soon to better understand the needs of their districts and
build trust and confidence in the legislative process.