If you look up the definition of quixotic, one definition reads: “Caught up in the pursuit of unreachable goals; someone who is idealistic without regard to practicality; unrealistic.”
In the race for Texas’ Speaker of the House, we have been down this quixotic road before. I personally campaigned for Ken Paxton in 2010, believing that he had a chance to win. As it turns out, he did not. The vote was 132-15. Worse, he dropped out of the race before the vote was taken, leaving some of our most loyal and trustworthy conservatives holding the bag. Those who voted for Paxton, even after he had withdrawn his name from the race, became known as the “Texas 15,” and of those brave few, there are now only 10 left in the Texas House.
While Ken Paxton gained statewide name recognition and was able to win election to the Texas Senate, others did not fare so well.
Leo Berman, Wayne Christian and Jim Landtroop lost their elections. Erwin Cain was paired in redistricting with Dan Flynn and did not run again. James White, who was also paired with another legislator in redistricting, was able to win reelection after a hard-fought race. Cindy Burkett was paired with Joe Driver, who did not run for reelection.
So who is left of the original “Texas 15”? The “Texas 10” are: Cindy Burkett, Dan Flynn, Phil King, Jodie Laubenberg, Tan Parker, Charles Perry, David Simpson, Van Taylor, James White and Bill Zedler. Laubenberg has announced her support for Speaker Joe Straus, which seems to signal that the race is over.
As a conservative who believes in standing for principle, I appreciate David Simpson’s willingness to run. It just seems to me that if the votes are not there, it ends up hurting our cause more than helping. Speaker Straus will punish those who oppose him, and where is the wisdom in a futile attempt to win the speakership? Conservatives must choose their battles carefully. It is better to have the ear of the king than to attempt to overthrow the king and lose.