State Rep. Todd Hunter said he is considering taking on the position of Texas Speaker of the House after Speaker Joe Straus announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election.
Hunter spoke with 3News Thursday during a Rotary Club event at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center. He said he had been swamped with media request inquiring about whether he intends to run for Straus' position.
"I am not an announced candidate because to do that you have to file paperwork and follow certain laws," Hunter said. "I have an interest."
Hunter was introduced to the crowd at the Rotary Club event by his son Michael in a playful fashion.
"Please help me in welcoming Speaker Todd Hunter," Michael said.
"Am I interested in running for the speaker of the house? Yes," Hunter said, drawing applause from the crowd.
3News asked Hunter if he felt he would need to move further to the right on the political spectrum if he decides to run for speaker of the house.
"I'm just going to be Todd Hunter," he said. "I'm not going to change anyway. I don't follow any menu."
There is still the question of upcoming statewide elections. Democratic consultant and former Nueces County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ramirez believes Hunter would do a good job as speaker.
"You never know what could happen," Ramirez said. "12 months from now we might be sitting down and saying, 'Do you think Abel Herrero will make a good speaker of the house?'"
Hunter said he is in no hurry to make a decision. Instead, he wants to hear from his constituents about whether they want him to run for the job.
In a Facebook post Wednesday morning, current Speaker of the House Joe Straus said his decision not to run for re-election was based on his belief that "those who serve in public office should do so for a time, not for a lifetime."
Straus was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2005. He was named Speaker of the House less than four years later and will serve to the conclusion of his term in 2019.
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