AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced on Tuesday that he will not seek re-election after a secret recording of him was released earlier this month and a near majority of his own party was calling for his removal.
Bonnen had been accused since the summer of targeting certain Republicans in the upcoming 2020 primaries by offering media credentials to a hardline conservative media group in exchange for their help.
The accusations were re-ignited earlier this month when the recording was made public by Michael Quinn, head of Empower Texas. Bonnen also disparaged multiple Democrats, calling one “vile” and another “a piece of shit.”
More than 30 House Republicans had called for the resignation of Bonnen, including Tyler Representative Matt Schaefer.
Bonnen’s office released the following statement:
“Since Friday, I have had numerous conversations with Members who care deeply about the Texas House, and I respect the manner in which they have handled this whole situation. After much prayer, consultation, and thoughtful consideration with my family, it is clear that I can no longer seek re-election as State representative of District 25, and subsequently, as Speaker of the House. I care deeply about this body and the work we have accomplished over the years, namely the outstanding success we achieved in the 86th Legislature. My below colleagues have made clear that it is in the best interest of both myself and the House to move on, and I thank them for the respectful and thoughtful way in which they have convinced me to do so.”Dennis Bonnen, Texas House Speaker