Gov. Greg Abbott says the retiring Texas House speaker "has served with distinction for both the people in his district and for the Texas House of Representatives."
Republican Joe Straus shocked the Texas political world by announcing Tuesday that he won't seek re-election. He will remain in office through next December, but the Legislature isn't scheduled to return to session until January 2019.
In a statement, Abbott, a fellow Republican, said, "I thank Speaker Straus for his service and for his commitment to the State of Texas."
Republicans control both chambers of the Texas Legislature but Straus used his powerful position to block many conservative priorities championed by Abbott and other Republicans. That includes a "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people that failed to pass this year.