AUSTIN -- Midland City Council member Bill Dingus announced Thursday he will run as a Democrat to try to defeat Republican House Speaker Tom Craddick next year in his West Texas legislative district.
"As a city councilman, I have always guided my actions by asking myself, 'What is best for Midland?' Over a number of months I have come to believe that what is best for Midland and District 82 is a change of leadership in Austin," Dingus
said in a statement.Dingus has been an at-large member of the City Council since 2000.He is president of Dingus Investments Inc.He
is running as a conservative Democrat and wants "to ensure that the reputation of the good, honest, hard-working citizens of our piece of West Texas is reflected in our representative."
Craddick, who was chosen House speaker in 2003 as the first Republican speaker in more than 130 years, is seeking re-election to a 21st term.He
fended off attempts to oust him in this year's legislative session by Republicans and Democrats who claimed his
leadership style was too heavy-handed and that he
didn't allow lawmakers to freely represent the interests of their own districts.
Craddick issued a statement Thursday, saying, "I welcome Mr. Dingus
to the race, and I look forward to having a spirited debate on the issues that matter most to the people of District 82."