Earlier this week, state Rep. Warren Chisum called for the House Republican Caucus to meet and coalesce behind a single candidate for House Speaker.
Chisum, a Pampa Republican, is one of two candidates hoping to unseat current House Speaker Joe Straus. Chisum's announcement stirred the debate on whether it's appropriate for one party to decide who will be Speaker on their own.
Chisum said Republicans need to "respond to the will of the voters and work together to select a single Republican nominee for Speaker."
Back in 2002, Chisum appears to have held a very different position on the issue. Chisum was one of about 23 Republican House members who signed an editorial titled "Let's not have partisan speaker elections." The piece ran in the Star-Telegram on June 6, 2002.
In it, the authors warn that if Republicans decide on a speaker without any input from Democrats, it will lead to the kind of partisan rancor more associated with Washington, D.C.
From the editorial:
Now that it appears Republicans will gain a majority of Texas House seats this November, some - but not all - of our Republican colleagues are eager to change this system and seize control so that no Democrat will have a voice in choosing the next speaker. They want effectively to elect the speaker in the Republican caucus.
To support such a monumental policy change simply and solely because it improves the odds of a particular speaker candidate is short sighted and fundamentally wrong.
Once the genie of Washington-style partisanship is let out of the magic lamp, do not think that the odious process and environment which results will ever be reversed.
You can read the full editorial below the jump. We have a call out to Chisum for comment and will update this post as soon as we hear from him.