Updated: Scroll down.
Last night we got this:
Not For Release – For Planning Purposes Only AUSTIN – Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Chairman Steve Munisteri will be joined by Governor Rick Perry and Texas House of Representatives Speaker Joe Straus for a major announcement on Tuesday afternoon, December 14th at 3:00pm at 1108 Lavaca, on the 5th floor at the offices of the RPT.Chairman Munisteri will offer introductory remarks for Governor Perry and Speaker Straus before the announcement, and will allow time for questions and answers immediately afterwards. Press is advised that space will be standing room only, as the room is expected to reach full capacity.
Perry, Munisteri and Straus all in the same room? What did it mean? Here’s how it shook out this afternoon:
BY TERRENCE STUTZ | 3:51 PM CST on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | The Dallas Morning News
Rep. Aaron Pena of Edinburg appeared at a news conference with Gov. Rick Perry and House Speaker Joe Straus to proclaim his move to the GOP along with fellow Democrat Allan Ritter of Nederland in Southeast Texas.
Ritter had already indicated his intentions to shift his party affiliation.
The new Republican House members will give the GOP 101 seats in the lower chamber in the 2011 Legislature, a number that will allow the party to exercise power not seen in the House since the early 1980s when the Democrats had more than 100 of the 150 seats.
The figure for the GOP includes a vacant House seat in Central Texas that is expected to be won by a Republican in a special election on Tuesday.
Both Pena and Ritter were elected to new terms as Democrats last month.
With a supermajority, House Republicans will be able establish a quorum and conduct business without Democrats. They can also approve constitutional amendments without Democratic support.
RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri: Statement on New Republican House Members
November 2nd was a historic day for the Republican Party of Texas as we not only increased the number of Republicans in the State House from 77 to 99, but also added approximately 300 new Republican officeholders statewide. I believe a revitalized and reorganized RPT played a significant role in this accomplishment, along with having a strong top of the ticket led by Governor Perry, Lt. Governor Dewhurst and Attorney General Abbott. It is our hope to build upon these gains in the future, in part by reaching out to independents and Democrats as well as renewing our committment to outreach to minority communities.
I am excited today to welcome Representative Allan Ritter of House District 21, and Representative Aaron Pena of House District 40, to the ranks of the Republican Party. Both of them have told me that they no longer were comfortable with the direction of the Democratic Party, both here in Texas, and nationally, as it has dramatically shifted to the left under President Obama. I have had an opportunity to visit with local party leadership in both of their districts, who inform me that former Democrats such as Allan Ritter and Aaron Pena will be welcomed into the Republican Party in their locale. Obviously, this is an important milestone for the Republican Party of Texas as it ensures that we will have a super-majority in the House of Representatives. We look forward to adding to these numbers in the days to come.
Video: Two Elected Texas Democrats Switch to GOP – Pajamas Media