Scott Turner backed by national tea party group for Texas House leader

A prominent national tea party-affiliated group wants to see new, more conservative leadership in the Texas House, and it has a sophomore legislator in mind to take the job from Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.

FreedomWorks — a non-profit in Washington, D.C., that touts the importance of smaller government, lower taxes and more economic freedom — has formally endorsed state Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, for the job. A FreedomWorks news release says the group likes Turner, a charismatic former professional football player who is headed into his second legislative session, for being a “true limited-government conservative.”

The challenge to the speaker, which would begin in earnest after the next session begins in January, marks the first time FreedomWorks will be involved in a state legislature’s leadership battle, said Noah Wall, director of grassroots at FreedomWorks. Several Texas-based members of the group pushed for the endorsement.