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      Chisum to force caucus

      Texas Panhandle lawmaker and Republican Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, said Tuesday afternoon he has enough signatures to force a caucus to select a Republican nominee for the job of Speaker of the House.

      The purpose of the caucus would be to narrow the number of Republican candidates running for the post from three to one. Currently, Chisum is running against current Speaker Joe Straus, R- San Antonio and Ken Paxton from McKinney.

      In the letter Chisum said, "We need a Republican caucus to meet and select one conservative candidate for Speaker of the House. The voters of Texas have elected a strong overwhelming majority of Republicans to the Texas House of Representatives. We need to respond to the will of the voters and work together to select a single Republican nominee for Speaker."

      Chisum plans to submit the letter with the required ten signatures to Caucus Chairman Rep. Larry Taylor on December 29th. Caucus rules require the Caucus Chairman to call a caucus within seven days of receiving the letter, according to Chisum.

      The local representative said releasing the call for a caucus will allow Republican representatives time to plan for a January 5th caucus.

      "I also believe it is appropriate to provide the voters of Texas with advance notice that there will be a caucus to allow them time to contact their Representative with any advice on the Speaker's race," said Chisum.

      The following representatives joined Chisum in signing the letter: Allen Fletcher, Dan Flynn, Kelly Hancock, Rick Hardcastle, Charlie Howard, Phil King, Geanie Morrison, Debbie Riddle, Randy Weber.

      ProNews 7 has a request into Speaker Straus for comment, we will update our story when they respond to our request.