Chisum: Race for Texas speaker not over

Representative Warren Chisum
Representative Warren Chisum

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Conservative legislator Warren Chisum says he's still in the race for Texas House speaker, even though current Speaker Joe Straus contends he has enough support to win.

Chisum, a Republican from Pampa, told reporters Wednesday he'd like a closed GOP caucus meeting where Republicans can decide which speaker candidate to support before the House vote is held in January.

Democrats provided a large part of Straus' support when he was elected in 2009. Straus is a more moderate Republican from San Antonio.

After Tuesday's election, Republican upped their slim House majority by more than 20 seats, giving them a stronger say in the speakership.

Chisum says as speaker he wants to pass a measure similar to parts of the controversial Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigration.