The Amarillo Pioneer

Amarillo's only free online newspaper. Established in 2016, we work to bring you local news that is unbiased and honest.


Fourth Candidate Joins Race for Texas Speaker

A fourth candidate has joined the race to replace the outgoing Speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus.

On Wednesday, Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) filed with the Texas Ethics Commission to run for Texas Speaker in an attempt to replace the retiring Straus. The filing makes Johnson the first Democrat to join the race, as well as the fourth candidate overall.

In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Johnson said that he is running for the speakership, based on his record in the Texas Legislature.

"I am running for Speaker to help restore normalcy to Texas state politics," Johnson told the Dallas Morning News. "Whether the issue is increased funding for Pre-K or removing Confederate monuments from the Texas Capitol, I have never backed down from a legislative fight.”

Johnson joins a race to replace the long-time Texas Speaker that already includes three Republicans. Dr. John Zerwas (R-Richmond), Phil King (R-Weatherford) and Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) are already running. Several other candidates, including Amarilloans Four Price and John Smithee, have been floated as possible contenders for the seat.

If elected, Johnson would be the first Democrat to hold the speakership since Pete Laney (D-Plainview) left office in 2003 after Democrats lost a majority in the Texas House.

For more information about Johnson, please visit

Photo by Johnson Campaign

Photo by Johnson Campaign

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