Republicans vote to keep Straus atop Texas House

January 10, 2011 2:17:21 PM PST
Texas Speaker Joe Straus has overcome a right-wing challenge from within the Republican party to win an important endorsement from fellow lawmakers

Republican caucus chairman Larry Taylor said 70 out of 101 Republican House members chose Straus in a non-binding vote Monday. The official vote will take place Tuesday when the legislative session opens and Democrats also have a chance to cast a ballot.

Straus, a San Antonio Republican, needs only 76 votes to keep his job and will likely be re-elected.

The Texas speaker is one of the most powerful jobs in state politics, deciding what bills get a chance to pass.

Tea party and conservative activists oppose Straus and were hoping the caucus would provide the momentum to ou