I just read where state Rep. Drew Darby has become the fifth member of the Texas House to declare his candidacy for speaker of the House of Representatives.
What do I know about him? He’s a Republican (naturally!) from San Angelo. OK. That’s it. Now he’s running for Speaker Joe Straus’s job, which Straus is giving up at the end of the year after choosing not to seek re-election to another term.
The roll of speaker candidates is missing a key player who has been reported to be somewhat interested, although he’s being typically coy about it.
I refer to my friend state Rep. Four Price of Amarillo.
I want Price to run for the speakership. I also want his House colleagues to elect him.
I’ll admit to bias here. I’ve known the young man almost from the moment my wife and I moved to Amarillo in 1995. He is a lawyer and our paths crossed as I developed a list of friends — and sources — while working as editorial page editor of the Amarillo Globe-News.
Then he decided to run for the Texas House in 2011, succeeding former state Rep. David Swinford in the District 87 seat. He won the GOP primary, which meant election in the heavily Republican House district.
Price has acquitted himself handsomely, becoming a champion for the cause of mental health rehabilitation in the Legislature.
He also developed a constructive alliance with Speaker Straus, a man for whom I developed great respect over his objection to that hideous Bathroom Bill that died in the special legislative session in 2017. You remember that one, yes? It would have required people to use public restrooms in accordance with the gender assigned on their birth certificate; it was clearly discriminatory against transgender individuals. Straus would have none of the bill that sailed through the Texas Senate.
Four Price is an ally of the speaker and I’ll presume he backed Straus’s decision to torpedo the Bathroom Bill.
What’s more, Price fended off a challenge this past year from someone who was backed by the far-right political action committee, Empower Texans.
I believe Rep. Price would make a fine speaker of the Texas House. Yes, my wife and I have moved away from the Panhandle, but my interest in Texas politics and government is as strong as ever.
Thus, I hope Rep. Price decides to compete for the title of Man of the Texas House.
Run, Four, run!