Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election as speaker or as a state representative. Bonnen served as a member of the Texas House for more than 20 years and said he made the decision after much consideration and discussion with his fellow House members.
“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. “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.
“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.”
He added that some of his colleagues “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.”
James Dickey, Republican Party of Texas chairman, also released a statement.
“Members of the House Republican Caucus had a decision to make,” he said. “They made that decision clear, and the speaker listened.”
State Rep. Kyle Biedermann, who represents the 73rd District, said he was the first member of the Legislature to call for Bonnen’s resignation.
“I’m very excited to see that the Texas House can now start to move on,” he said. “I’ve made it clear to all my city and county colleagues that the disparaging comments of the speaker don’t reflect my views and it’s one of the reasons I called for him to step down. I have and will always work in a respectful manner with our local officials. We won’t always agree, but we will conduct the business of serving our shared constituents with integrity and respect.”
Biedermann also sent a letter to Kendall County Judge Darrel Lux regarding remarks Bonnen had made.
“I want to apologize to you and condemn the comments made by House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. His words regarding our cities and counties were distasteful, disrespectful and have no place in the House and the legislative process. Because of comments like these, and his lack of integrity concerning his meeting with Mr. Sullivan, I called for his resignation in August, and again last week when the tape was released.
“I take my job representing House District 73 very seriously. I don’t want the pompous comments of our state leader to taint the hard work and dedication it takes to insure the safety and well being of our shared constituents. I hope we can use this in a positive way to open more discussion and cooperation for us to work together, and not as adversaries as the Speaker professed.
Again my sincere apologies as the State House works through this unfortunate episode.”
On Tuesday, The Star published comments made by Lux, Boerne Mayor Tim Handren and Fair Oaks Ranch Mayor Garry Manitzas regarding the recently released audio recordings of top leaders in the Texas House of Representatives, which included Bonnen.