Texas GOP speaker drops re-election bid after secret tape

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas GOP House Speaker Dennis Bonnen says he will not run for re-election, making the announcement less than a week after the release of a secretly recorded conversation in which Bonnen sought help ousting members of his own party in 2020 and called a female lawmaker "vile."

Bonnen says in a statement Tuesday "it is clear that I can no longer seek re-election" as either a state representative or house speaker.

The Texas Republican Caucus had condemned Bonnen's remarks.

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"The Middle" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Patricia Heaton campaigned for Mitt Romney ahead of the 2012 presidential election. However, in early 2016 as fervor began to swirl around then-candidate Trump, she tweeted of the GOP, "If he's the nominee then it won't be my party."
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The recorded conversation is at the center of an ongoing state police investigation into whether Bonnen improperly offered House media credentials in exchange for campaign help. It's also thrown Republicans into disarray at a time when their state dominance is slipping.

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