Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced Tuesday he would not seek re-election as representative of House District 25 in 2020.

“After much prayer, consultation, and thoughtful consideration with my family, it is clear that I can no longer seek re-election as state representative of District 25, and subsequently, as speaker of the House,” Bonnen said. “I care deeply about this body and the work we have accomplished over the years, namely, the outstanding success we achieved in the 86th Legislature.”

Bonnen, R-Lake Jackson, has been under fire ever since a conservative activist secretly recorded a meeting in which the House speaker said he wanted members of his own party defeated in upcoming elections.

After the meeting, Sullivan disclosed that Bonnen and State Rep. Dustin Burrows, head of the Republican members of the House, asked him to help undermine the re-election campaigns of 10 Republican state representatives, including Rep. Phil Stephenson, whose district includes part of Fort Bend County.

“I want him to resign. It’s time to cut the head off the snake,” State Rep. Phil Stephenson, R-Wharton, said one day before headed to Austin f…

Bonnen initially denied making such a statement and said the audio recording would prove his innocence. However, Bonnen could be heard on the recording asking Sullivan for his help in return for press passes to the House floor.

“If you need some primaries to fight in, I will leave you and Dustin will tell you some that we would love it if you fought in them,” Bonnen said, adding, “... The Speaker of the House shouldn’t tell you some folks to go pop, but he has some folks, if you want to go pop, they’re going to have to find their own money ...

Bonnen mentioned Stephenson by name.

“... If Phil Stephenson is finding himself needing help in a primary, he’s getting $150,000 out of me. And what does that mean? Think about that for a while. ....” Bonnen could be heard saying on the audio recording.

Burrows has since resigned his post.

Bonnen said fellow members of the House met with him on Friday and persuaded him to give up his post.

“Since Friday, I have had numerous conversations with members who care deeply about the Texas House, and I respect the manner in which they have handled this entire situation,” Bonnen said in a statement released to the media on Tuesday. “My colleagues have made clear that it is in the best interest of both myself and the House to move on, and I thank them for the respectful and thoughtful way in which they have convinced me to do so.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.