A political earthquake has hit Texas.
The #2 powerbroker in the Texas House, State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) has announced that he will not seek another term. “Lord Byron” is the Chairman of the powerful Texas House State Affairs Committee.
At 10:22 a.m. this morning, the Quorum Report posted the headline “Speaker Straus will not seek reelection”. At 10:26 a.m. this morning, the Quorum Report posted the headline “Chairman Cook will not seek reelection”.
In one day, the top of the Texas plutocratic pyramid has crumbled.
“Lord Byron’s” announcement reads in part, “It is an honor to represent the families of Anderson, Freestone, Hill, and Navarro Counties in the Texas House of Representatives. However, I will not seek a 9th term in the upcoming March 2018 Republican primary for the Texas House of Representatives.”
It may be a pleasure for Cook to represent them, but apparently it’s not a pleasure for them to have him as their representative. On September 23, Anderson County officially voted to #RULE44 “Lord Byron” – the first State Representative to be officially censured and recommended for sanctions by a county party in his district in Texas.
On the same day, Hill County debated the identical resolution, but decided to give Cook 30 days to respond to the charges contained within the censure resolution.
Cook’s primary victory in 2016 remains under a cloud because undeniable voting fraud was discovered and investigated by the office of the Texas Attorney General. Questions over whether he should have taken the oath of office for the 2017 Texas Legislative Session bounced around the chattering class.
Perhaps Cook’s most notable moment in the 2017 session was when he had citizen journalist Amy Hedtke dragged out of the State Affairs Committee room by Texas DPS and arrested for video live streaming the committee proceedings.
Cook was one of the last remaining Original Straus 11 that aligned with 65 Democrats in 2009 to take over the Speaker post. With Cook’s announcement and Straus’ announcement, only State Rep. Charlie “Cookie Monster” Geren (R- Fort Worth) remains of the 11.
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