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State Rep. Phil King Declares Candidacy For Texas House Speaker

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune
State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, filed paperwork to run for speaker of the House.

State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, has filed paperwork to run to be the next speaker of the Texas House.

"Over the past several months, many of my colleagues have encouraged me to consider running for Speaker," King said in a statement. "In order to have an open discussion concerning the future of our Texas House, I have filed the required paperwork to declare my candidacy for Speaker."

The current speaker, San Antonio Republican Joe Straus, has said he plans to seek a record-breaking sixth term behind the dais in 2019. He has easily fended off previous challenges to his leadership, and the House unanimously voted to give him a fifth term as speaker at the start of the regular session earlier this year.

"I have served in the House under the leadership of three different Speakers," said King, a former police officer who has served in the House since 1999. "What I have learned is that the role of the Presiding Officer is not to control the House, but rather to facilitate, assist and empower all members to represent their districts, promote their ideas, and implement their policies."

The members of the Texas House traditionally select a speaker on the first day of a legislative session. The next legislative session will begin in January 2019, unless Gov. Greg Abbott calls a special session before then.

King, an attorney, chairs the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee. He represents House District 61 in North Texas.

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