Whatever it is it's got the State's lackluster political media in a tizzy. What is it you're asking?
(Two Freshmen Reps Pledge to Paxton for Speaker, Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune (Maybe they NEED all that hip eyewear?)
Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, is also in the race, though Paxton appears to have more support. Last week, two of Chisum's fellow West Texans — Jim Landtroop of Plainview and Charles Perry of Lubbock — announced their support for Paxton.
Counting the candidate himself, that brings Paxton to nine votes. Straus claims pledges from more than 120. It takes 76 to win.
Nine. The leader of the conservative "groundswell" to unseat Speaker Straus currently counts his supporters at nine (9). According to this report Wayne Chisum has even less. To put this in perspective: Rep Paxton has approx 5.92% of the vote. That's less than Chris Bell for goodness' sake.
Even if you assume that Chisum's supporters number six (6) that would still leave both challengers with 9.87% of the total vote. Yes, that's creeping up into Democratic down-ballot territory, but it's not really threatening that low bar.
In other words, this "internal clash" really isn't, despite what Texas poor political pundits think. Unless something happens that greatly cuts into the support of Straus the only thing to take away from this is that the social Conservatives are going to make a lot of noise, but the actual numerical strength of the movement is somewhere around the listenership of KDAN Patrick's radio station.
*By "boring" I don't mean things aren't going to happen. To the contrary, I think that there's going to be a LOT that transpires during the 82nd that will be meaningful (in a good and bad way) to Texans. What I don't think we're going to have is much hullabaloo surrounding it because the opposition party has been reduced to the political equivalent of a party-blogger.