Rep. Schaefer would have voted for Rep. Simpson -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Rep. Schaefer would have voted for Rep. Simpson

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From Representative Matt Schaefer:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 marked the first day of the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature.  I was joined by my family and friends at the Capitol in Austin to take my Oath of Office for the first time.

After the swearing in ceremony concluded, the vote for Speaker of the House took place.  I heard from many residents of Smith County about the type of conservative leadership they were looking for in a House Speaker, and I took that feedback to heart.

Speaker Joe Straus was the only candidate to choose from after Rep. David Simpson R, Longview, withdrew his candidacy prior to the vote.  As a result, Speaker Straus was elected by acclamation.  If Rep. Simpson had been on the ballot, I would have voted for him.  He pursued my vote with zeal, and I was persuaded by Rep. Simpson's strength of character, conservative philosophy, and fresh ideas.

It has been my position that I would support the candidate who I felt was the most conservative and had leadership ability.  I do appreciate the dialogue that Rep. Simpson brought to the Speaker's race.  He is a great friend and East Texas neighbor.  I believe competition in any bid for public office is healthy for public discourse.  Not only did this challenge allow for new ideas, but it also allowed for the people of Texas to learn more about the Speaker's broad powers and responsibilities.

Rep. Simpson made many good points, including his proposal for members to play a greater role in selecting committee assignments, by concentrating less power in the hands of a few.  He is also to be commended for his desire to conduct the people's business more efficiently and allowing a predictable work schedule for the House.

The will of the House has been exercised and it is now time to move on, work together, and do the people's business.   I truly believe that Speaker Straus listened to the concerns raised by Rep. Simpson and those that supported him, and it is my hope that he will take those concerns to heart as we move forward.  Speaker Straus now rightfully deserves the support of House Members in order to make this Legislative session productive and conservative.  I look forward to working with the Speaker and all of my colleagues in the House to expand the field of freedom in Smith County and the State of Texas.

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