Rep. Aaron Pena: GOP Gets Its Supermajority In Texas House: Now It Begins

The upcoming legislative session in Austin might get pretty wild and entertaining -- if not beneficial to anyone who fears the GOP/Tea Party agenda -- thanks to a move today.

State Rep. Aaron Pena, a Democrat from Edinburg, is about to announce he is now Aaron Pena, Republican from Edinburg, giving the GOP a "supermajority" of 100 seats in the 150-member house, the McAllen Monitor reports. The move is expected to be announced officially sometime today.

Essentially, Democrats are defenseless this session.

Pena has been critical of the Democratic party; on the other hand the district he represents is all but devoid of Republicans.

The move comes a week after Allen Ritter, a Nederland Democrat, announced his own party switch. The Democratic Party of Texas called on him to resign his seat.

There are still some divides in the state's GOP -- between the far-right and the ultra-far-right, it seems -- so not every issue will pass in lockstep. But Republicans now have the power to move whatever they want out of the House, and Democrats will be relegated to watching from the sidelines, offering the occasional parliamentary maneuver to delay the inevitable.

Update: Texas Democratic Party chair Boyd Ritchie repeats his demand for Pena:

If Rep. Peña had any respect for his voters, he would resign and run as a Republican in a special election, but Peña won't do that because he knows he would be defeated.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly