AUSTIN, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas State Representative has filed for the House's highest position.
Representative Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) to run for Speaker of the House.
Hughes won the Republican Primary for the redrawn Texas House District 5, beating former Mineola ISD Superintendent Mary Lookadoo.
According to records from the TEC, Hughes is running against the Speaker for the 82nd Legislative Session, Joe Straus (R-San Antonio). Straus has served as Speaker of the House since 2009. He won the Republican Primary for House District 121 Tuesday, and will face a Libertarian opponent in the November general election.
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the Texas House of Representatives and is chosen by members of the House at the beginning of each legislative session. The next legislative session, the 83rd Legislative Session, is scheduled to begin January 8, 2013.
The Speaker's website states the powers and duties of the job includes maintaining order on the House floor and signing all bills and joint resolutions. The Speaker still has the option to cast a vote on items in the House. The Speaker can also be given other powers and duties as decided upon by members of the house when they discuss the House Rules of Procedure at the beginning of the regular legislative session.
Hughes, an attorney from Mineola, has served as a Texas State Representative since 2003. Legislative records indicate if chosen by his colleagues to be the next Speaker of the House, Hughes would be the first from East Texas to hold the title since William Rayford Price (D-Frankston) in 1972-73 during the 62nd Legislative Session's second, third and fourth called sessions.
Records show the last East Texan to serve as Speaker of the House during a regular session of the Texas Legislature was Byron M. Tunnell (D-Tyler) who served as Speaker during the 58th Legislative Session in 1963.