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Why Ken Paxton Should be Texas Speaker, and Why it Matters

The race for Texas Speaker is now in full sprint. The finish line will be the first week of January – and it’s time for all good Texans to take action to make sure we have a conservative Speaker of the House.

Erick and Drew Ryun have written several posts detailing this fight. Joe Strauss is the incumbent Speaker, having risen to that post two years ago by garnering the overwhelming support of Democrats (65) as well as 11 weak-kneed Republicans. The result? Almost half of committee chairmanships to liberal Democrats and still others to those weak Republicans, causing a much larger percentage of Republican bills to be killed than Democrat bills, and abandonment of important measures like Voter ID.

But while it is obvious that Joe Straus should not be the Texas Speaker – it’s TEXAS, after all – why should it be Ken Paxton, and why should you care?

Ken should be Speaker because he’s a good man, he’s well liked and he’s a limited government conservative with a proven track record. You should care (whether you live in Texas or not) because if we are truly going to reduce the size and scope of the federal government, we must have competent, conservative leadership at the state and local level to promote federalism from the bottom up.

As a matter of full disclosure, I have the luxury of knowing Ken personally – as he is my Representative here in McKinney (just north of Dallas for you non-Texans). When my wife and I manage to corral our 16 month old son long enough, we attend the church that Ken attends (which also happens to be the church Congressman Sam Johnson attends). Ken and his wife are not only active in the church, they were significant in planting it in the first place. He is a great dad and husband – and his family reflects that.

In my previous job as a prosecutor, and in my current work, I have come to know a number of folks in the area, as you would expect. I never hear a bad thing about Ken – and, quite the contrary, I hear only that he works hard, represents McKinney well, and that he can be trusted to do the right thing. After all, after going to Baylor for undergrad, he showed good sense by attending Mr. Jefferson’s University (UVa) for law school – where he soaked in a bit of that Jefferson appreciation for limited government.

And the good news is that he can actually be trusted to be a limited government conservative. His record is rock solid, as Erick noted last month:

Ken Paxton… received a 100% rating from Empower Texans… received a 0% rating from NARAL, a 97% rating from the Young Conservatives of Texas and an A+ from the NRA… [And he] sponsored legislation that would create stronger spending limits in Texas government in 2005, 2007 and 2009 and was lead author on cutting-edge transparency legislation in 2007.

But I can add some personal knowledge to it. Through countless conversations, I can tell you that Ken believes in a limited, Constitutional government (in Washington and Austin). He recognizes how important it is for Texas to lead by example – to balance our budget, keep taxes low and maintain a climate of freedom that attracts business and allows the people of our state to prosper. And he recognizes how critical it is that we get it right at home as we work to devolve power from Washington to the states and local governments.

Ken Paxton should be the next Texas Speaker of the House of Representatives. He is the right man for the job at the right time. We need Texas (and all state and local governments) to be stronger, not weaker.

If you live in Texas and have not called your Texas Representative – do so immediately, and often (and get your friends to do so). If he or she has not publicly supported Ken, ask them why and make sure they know you will do everything in your power to see that he or she gets a primary challenge in 2012 if they support Straus over Ken.

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