Tan Parker announces candidacy for house speaker


State Rep. Tan Parker (R, Flower Mound) announced Thursday that he would run for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.  

Parker represents district 63, which includes part of Lewisville and Flower Mound in southwestern Denton County.  He has served six terms in office and ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

“I am ready to continue to serve Texas in a new leadership role bringing a unified effort for the betterment of our members and this great state. I am also very proud of my record as Chair of the Texas House Republican Caucus and the trust my fellow colleagues placed in me over the past three years.  During this time, we have focused upon the successes of our members while advancing the Republican principles that have built a stronger Texas. Today, our caucus is seen as one of the most effective, conservative bodies among legislatures in the entire country. Yet, we have much more work ahead, and I am prepared to lead. Together, we will keep Texas the leading state for prosperity, liberty and opportunity,” said Parker.

The position of speaker was previously held by Republican Joe Straus, who announced last year that he would not run for reelection.

Parker will vie for the gavel with Phil King, who announced in September of last year, and Rep John Zerwas, who announced last November.  

In December, Parker announced on behalf of the Republican caucus that they had unanimously adopted a bylaws change that would allow Republicans to select an endorsed candidate by secret ballot in caucus.  Straus had been elected with the support of Democrats and moderate Republicans.

“I am proud of our caucus members working collaboratively as a body over the past four months to address this issue and I look forward to us working together during the next legislative session,” said Parker, who was chairman of the caucus at that time.

In his announcement, Parker noted that he had reached the decision after much thought, prayer, and reflection.  He said he also decided to resign from the chairmanship of the caucus in order to focus on the effort.

Parker must first win re-election to his seat in the house.  He faces Democratic challenger Laura Haines of Flower Mound in the November election.