U.S. House speaker heads to North Texas to help with upcoming March primary

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis.
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan will be on a fundraising swing through Texas this week and has a stop Tuesday with a luncheon at the Fort Worth City Club.

The event highlights the Wisconsin Republican’s new high-profile role as a party leader since becoming speaker in October and is hosted by U.S. GOP Reps. Kay Granger of Fort Worth, Michael Burgess of Lewisville and Roger Williams of Austin.

“Speaker Ryan looks forward to helping his House colleagues defend and strengthen our majority in the year ahead,” said Ryan spokesman Zack Roday. “The 2016 election will be a critical one for not only the Republican Party but also the country.”

Monday night, Ryan headlines a Dallas dinner and he also will appear in Austin and other cities, on behalf of Team Ryan, a joint fundraising committee made up of Ryan for Congress Inc., Prosperity Action Inc., which is Ryan’s political action committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The Fort Worth luncheon is closed to the press.

Candidate fairs

The Tarrant County Republican Party Candidate Fair and Straw Poll is still on for January 23 at the Arlington Convention Center, 1200 Ballpark Way in Arlington.

But a separate Tarrant County Conservative Candidate Fair planned for the same day in Hurst has been canceled.

“The goal is to give the public the opportunity to meet and talk with the candidates,” said Jennifer Hall, who heads the Tarrant County Republican Party.

The fair runs from 10 am to 5 p.m. and is free.

At the same time, the Tarrant County Democratic Party is having a 2016 candidate roundup from 6-8 p.,m. Jan. 19 at Rahr & Sons Brewing Co, 701 Galveston Ave. in Fort Worth.

Donations of $10 will be accepted for a souvenir mug and free beer.


State Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, drew social media attention last week when she posted an item about President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

“I’m taking a survey,” she wrote. “Which would you rather do tonight? A) Watch Obama’s State of the Union address B) Stick a pencil in your eye.”


I'm taking a survey. Which would you rather do tonight? A) Watch Obama's State of the Union AddressB) Stick a pencil in your eye󾌯

Posted by Konni Burton on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The item was shared more than 235 times, liked more than 1,400 times and drew more than 3,000 comments.

White House trolls Cruz

White House press secretary Josh Earnest has been enjoying watching Donald Trump bring up Sen. Ted Cruz’s, R-Texas, Canadian birthplace.

Last week, Earnest opened a daily briefing by talking about Cruz’s “hometown” teams of Calgary and Houston.

According to a transcript of the Jan. 11 White House briefing, Earnest referred to his lucky mug from his own hometown Kansas City Royals, who won the World Series, and the Kansas City Chiefs, who are in the National Football League playoffs.

“Good afternoon, everybody. Well, maybe we should — apparently, this Royals mug is lucky for the Chiefs, as well. So certainly enjoyed the victory over the weekend,” said Earnest. “Well, Senator Cruz’s hometown teams are now 0 and 2 against my hometown teams in the playoffs.”

The Royals beat the Astros in the baseball playoffs, and the Chiefs beat the Texans Jan. 9 in the football playoffs.

“The good news is that Calgary Flames can rest easy because Kansas City doesn’t have a hockey team,” said Earnest.

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley