By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
The word found its way to me far, far away from the hustle and bustle of Texas politics.
It is that state Rep. Four Price, an Amarillo Republican, is not going to seek to become the next speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
I am disappointed to hear that news. But not surprised.
I’ve known Price for a long time. He won election to the Texas House after David Swinford of Dumas decided to retire in 2010. Price was being talked up as speaker material in his first legislative session, in 2011.
I haven’t spoken with Price about this latest decision, which was reported by Quorum Report and relayed to me by a former Morris Communications colleague who remains wound tightly in the goings-on in Austin. I am, shall we say, decidedly less involved in keeping up with the nitty gritty of Texas government.
I happen to believe Four Price would be a splendid House speaker. I mean, anyone who can fend off a goofball challenge by Empower Texans — the right wing PAC that takes delight in challenging Republican officeholders — is OK in my book. Price got a primary challenge in 2018 and dispatched the Empower Texans-financed pretender with ease.
More than that, though, Price has been an effective legislator. He is diligent and hardworking. I hear from spies in the Panhandle that Price doesn’t think he has the allied strength among his fellow House members to be elected speaker.
The current speaker, Republican Dennis Bonnen, will leave the House at the end of the year. He didn’t seek re-election after being outed by Empower Texans chieftain Michael Quinn Sullivan who recorded Bonnen offering up fellow GOP lawmakers as potential targets in this year’s election. Not a good move, dude. So, Bonnen is a goner, which is fine with me.
A big part of me believes Four Price never would have allowed himself to be suckered into speaking so stupidly to someone such as Michael Quinn Sullivan.
Which tells me why he would be a terrific speaker of the House.