Convervatives Want New Speaker

Texas – Conservative activists in Texas are urging lawmakers to dump Republican House Speaker Joe Straus in favor of a more conservative legislator.

The head of the Texas Eagle Forum, Pat Carlson, wrote a letter Monday calling on lawmakers to vote against Straus when the Texas Legislature reconvenes on Jan. 11. She said the group, which advocates for socially conservative positions on issues like gay rights and abortion, will keep track of how legislators vote in the speaker's race. Two conservative Republicans, Warren Chisum of Pampa and Ken Paxton of McKinney, are vying to replace Straus.

The Texas Alliance for Life, a leading Texas anti-abortion group, endorsed Paxton.

Straus has touted his own support from conservatives. He's said he has enough votes to be re-elected to a second term at the helm of the Texas House.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.