AUSTIN - The support of 15 Democrats was vital to Tom Craddick in his re-election to the House speaker’s position for the 80th Legislature

Key to Craddick’s re-election was a key vote on a procedural measure that would have allowed for delayed release of voting results - until after committee assignments - if it had passed.

The measure was tabled, however, by an 80-68 vote, which was widely seen as a pro-Craddick vote - and with the 15 Democrats voting in the majority.

Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, who had entered the race saying he wanted to change an atmosphere of “arm-twisting, intimidation, retribution and threats” subsequently withdrew, saying he didn’t want to subject his supporters to further harm.

Since the speaker’s challenge, much speculation has centered on the aspects of reward and retribution - especially with the release of committee assignments.

The fortunes of the 15 Democrats who voted to table and therefore pro-Craddick are as follows:

Kevin Bailey of Houston

In the 79th Legislature, Bailey served as chairman of General Investigating and Ethics and was a member of the Business and Industry Committee and the Urban Affairs Committee.

In the 80th, Bailey moves to chairman of Urban Affairs, and will continue to serve as a member of the General Investigating and Ethics Committee and the Business and Industry Committee.

Norma Chavez of El Paso

In the 79th Legislature, Chavez served as chairman of the Border and International Affairs Committee and was a member of Financial Institutions.

In the 80th, Chavez will serve as vice chairman of Calendars and chairman of budget and oversight for Financial Institutions, which gives her a seat on Appropriations.

Joe Deshotel

of Port Arthur

In the 79th Legislature, Deshotel served on the Redistricting, Economic Development and Transportation committees.

In the 80th, Deshotel will serve as chairman of Economic Development and continue as a member of the Redistricting and Transportation committees.

Dawnna Dukes of Austin

In the 79th Legislature, Dukes served as vice chair of Local and Consent Calendars and was a member of the Appropriations Committee via her chairman of budget and oversight seat on the Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee.

In the 80th Legislature, Dukes moves to the Calendars Committee as a member and will continue to serve on Appropriations because of her position as chairman of budget and oversight for Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

Harold V. Dutton Jr.

of Houston

In the 79th Legislature, Dutton served as chairman of Juvenile Justice and Family Issues and was a member of the General Investigating and Ethics Committee and the Public Education Committee.

In the 80th Legislature, Dutton will serve as he did in the 79th.

Ismael “Kino” Flores

of Mission

In the 79th Legislature, Flores served as chairman of Licensing and Administrative Procedures and was a member of the Redistricting and Transportation committees.

In the 80th Legislature, Flores will continue to serve as chairman of Licensing and Administrative Procedures and will still be a member of the Redistricting Committee. He comes off of Transportation but moves to Ways and Means.

Helen Giddings of DeSoto

In the 79th Legislature, Giddings served as chairman of Business and Industry and as a member of the Higher Education and House Administration committees.

In the 80th Legislature, Giddings continues to serve as chairman of Business and Industry and will continue her membership on the Higher Education Committee while being named vice chairman of the House Administration committee.

Ryan Guillen

of San Diego

In the 79th Legislature, Guillen served on Appropriations via his chairman of budget and oversight position on the Financial Institutions Committee.

In the 80th Legislature, Guillen has been named vice chairman of Appropriations and will take a seat on the Calendars and Natural Resources committees.

Tracy O. King

of Eagle Pass

In the 79th Legislature, King served on Appropriations via the chairman of budget and oversight position on the Environmental Regulation Committee.

In the 80th Legislature, King has been named chairman of Border and International Affairs and will serve as a member of Environmental Regulation.

Eddie Lucio IV

of Cameron County

The 80th Legislature is Lucio’s first term in office.

He will serve as chairman of budget and oversight for Environmental Regulation, which gives him a seat on Appropriations. He also will serve as a member of Local and Consent Calendars.

Ruth Jones McClendon of San Antonio

In the 79th Legislature, McClendon served on the Appropriations, Pensions and Investments, and Redistricting committees.

In the 80th Legislature, McClendon will serve as chairman of budget and oversight of Pensions and Investments, which gives her a seat on Appropriations. She also has been appointed chairman of Rules and Resolutions.

Aaron Pena of Edinburg

In the 79th Legislature, Pena served on the Appropriations, Criminal Jurisprudence and House Administration committees.

In the 80th Legislature, Pena will serve as chairman of Criminal Jurisprudence and will serve as a member of Ways and Means.

Robert R. Puente of San Antonio

In the 79th Legislature, Puente served as chairman of Natural Resources and was a member of Local Government Ways and Means.

In the 80th Legislature, Puente will continue to serve as he did in the 79th.

Patrick Rose of Dripping Springs

In the 79th Legislature, Rose served as vice chairman of Civil Practices and was a member of the Calendars and Higher Education committees

In the 80th Legislature, Rose will serve as chairman of Human Services and will be a member of the Higher Education Committee.

Sylvester Turner of Houston

In the 79th Legislature, Turner served on the Appropriations via his chairman of budget and oversight position on the Regulated Industries Committee. He also served on Calendars.

In the 80th Legislature, Turner will continue serving as he did in the 79th.

Taken as a group, the committee assignments represent an overall gain for the Democrats who supported Craddick.

The group gave up one of its six chairmanships from the 79th - General Investigating and Ethics - but gained four others - Urban Affairs, Economic Development, Criminal Jurisprudence and Human Services - to bring its total to nine overall in the 80th Legislature.

Two vice chairmanships held in the 79th were given up, but three are held for the 80th, including those on the important Appropriations and Calendars committees.

Three positions previously held on Appropriations via chairman of budget and oversight positions were given up, with two gained as the positions shifted within the group. One of the positions given up was by Guillen, who remained on Appropriations, however, as its new vice chairman. Overall, the group retained its six spots on Appropriations from the 79th, with one of those six positions now the vice chairmanship for the 80th.

Two spots were gained on Ways and Means, considered one of the top five committees due to its oversight of taxation and revenue measures. No one in the group had a Ways and Means seat during the 79th Legislature.

The group also increased its presence on Calendars. Although one seat from the 79th was given up, two seats were gained plus the vice chairmanship for the 80th Legislature. That, added to the seat already held by Turner from the 79th, gives the group four on Calendars, which determines whether or not bills make it to the floor of the House.

E-mail JoAnn at editor@waxahachiedailylight.com