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Texas House unanimously re-elects Straus as speaker

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Joe Straus will serve a record-tying fifth term as the powerful speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

Straus faced no competition Tuesday and won a unanimous 150-0 vote.

It was a sharp departure from previous sessions, when far-right conservative groups who criticize Straus as a moderate backed longshot challengers against him.

Straus is popular among both Republicans and Democrats, who see him an even hand and not a provocative firebrand like other GOP leaders. One legislator who tried to unseat Straus in 2013 even seconded his nomination this time.

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