Rep. Ashby calls for Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to step aside in wake of ‘offensive’ secret recording

Rep. Ashby calls for Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to step aside in wake of ‘offensive’ secret recording
State Rep. Trent Ashby

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - A revealing recording has caused some of the Texas House Speaker’s colleagues to call for him to step aside, including Republican Rep. Trent Ashby of Lufkin.

According to the Texas Tribune, a conversation that was recorded in Austin in June revealed that Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen urged hardline conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan to target members of their own party in the 2020 primaries. Bonnen was heard speaking disparagingly about a number of Democrats, calling one house member “vile” and suggesting that another’s wife “was gonna be really pissed when she learns he’s gay.”

Ashby released the following statement on Wednesday night:

"The recently released audio recording of Speaker Bonnen, Chairman Burrows, and a political operative in the Capitol Office of the Speaker, is deeply troubling. I have always felt that public service is a noble calling that demands the highest moral character of those who are entrusted with public office. As such, I am profoundly disappointed by what was revealed in the recording.

The profane language used to blatantly disrespect members of the Texas House through backroom political deal-making is offensive, inappropriate, and should be rejected by every member of the Texas House. Speaker Bonnen’s hateful comments not only betray the trust of his fellow House members, but more importantly the 29 million Texans who expect their elected leaders to serve with integrity, high moral character, and humility.

I condemn the actions of Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and I believe he should step aside so that we can properly begin the healing process."

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