Fort Worth-area lawmakers are becoming major players in the battle over who becomes the next U.S. House speaker.
Rep. Roger Williams, R-Willow Park, dropped out of the speakership race Sunday, a decision that opens doors for Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, said Southern Methodist University political science professor Matthew Wilson.
Granger has made waves as chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and the role places her at the heart of legislative battles likely to unfold in the coming days, Wilson said. Already, Granger was part of a bloc of Republicans who stopped Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio from becoming speaker.
Granger backed Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise for speaker.
“We need to get back to work for the American people,” Granger said on X, formerly Twitter.
Wilson said he wouldn’t be shocked if Granger, who has been in Congress since 1997, threw her name into consideration. Granger received a vote for speaker from an Iowa Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
Granger’s office did not immediately respond to phone calls from the Fort Worth Report requesting comment.
“It was interesting that she was never a supporter of Jim Jordan, and she was one of the people who held out from that,” Wilson said. “So, conceivably, she could emerge as a speaker choice.”
The job comes with downsides. The speakership is stressful and comes with a lot of polarization, Wilson said. He added this may be a key reason as to why Williams dropped out.
“It has become such a hot potato,” Wilson said. “At this point, who would want to be speaker? Given the level of acrimony within the party, it does not have the luster and appeal that it might once have had.”
Williams cited his roles as chairman of the House Small Business Committee and his obligations toward his family and business in Texas as reasons he decided against a run for speaker. Williams’ announcement came after expressing interest in the job on Oct. 20.
“After spending some time with my family in prayer, I have decided that now is not the right time for me to seek this important position,” Williams said in a statement.
The impact of Williams’ decision and Granger’s potential candidacy are emblematic of the power Texans hold in the House Republican Conference, Wilson said.
“The Texas delegation is certainly important,” Wilson said. “It would be an enormous head start if somebody from Texas could unite the delegation behind himself or herself.”
Matthew Sgroi is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.