Ex-House Speaker Jim Wright misses luncheon ‘as he recuperates’

Former Speaker of the House Jim Wright spoke to visitors at his office on the TCU campus in May 2014.
Former Speaker of the House Jim Wright spoke to visitors at his office on the TCU campus in May 2014. Star-Telegram

Fort Worth Republican U.S. Rep. Kay Granger sent a shoutout last week to former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright.

The two were honorary co-chairs of the Tarrant County College 50th anniversary luncheon, where former Israeli president Shimon Peres spoke, but Wright, a 92-year-old Democrat from Fort Worth, was not able to make it to the celebration.

Granger, who noted Wright’s many contributions, said he wasn’t able to attend “as he recuperates from some recent health issues.”

Mutual fans

State Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, has been a key supporter of Ted Cruz for years.

She was active in his first political campaign, a successful grassroots effort that catapulted him into U.S. Senate. He likewise helped her in her campaign for Texas Senate last year.

So it was no surprise last week that Burton would quickly support the Texas junior senator’s bid to become president.

“I’m all in for Ted Cruz,” Burton said. “I have known Ted since he was polling at 3 percent in his bid for U.S. Senate. He is one of the handful of elected officials who has done what he said he would do.

“His honesty and commitment to principles drive the establishment crazy, but it’s what the people want and deserve,” she said. “We need the next generation of conservative leaders to stand up and take our country back.”

No endorsement

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, won’t be endorsing Cruz because “there’s a lot of people who call Texas home.”

In addition to Cruz, other Texans who may be in the GOP presidential race include Jeb Bush, who was born in Midland and grew up in Texas; U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who grew up in Texas; and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

“I don't think it’s a smart idea to get in the middle of a primary fight when you’re choosing among your friends,” Cornyn said.

Of note, Cruz declined to endorse Cornyn in last year’s U.S. Senate primary.

Excused Absences

As majority whip, Cornyn has to make sure senators are in place to vote, which can prove challenging as members running for president are off campaigning.

Cornyn said he spoke with Cruz on Friday, just days after he announced he was running for president — and missed several votes — and was also talking to potential presidential candidates Rand Paul and Marco Rubio of Florida.

“It’s really more of a time management issue,” said Cornyn, who expects candidates to be there for the “big votes.”

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley