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President George W. Bush poses with four Texas House speakers

February 7, 2019

AUSTIN — House Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s tweet started out like this: “Four Speakers and a President walk into a room…”

Bonnen and three former Texas House speakers joined President George W. Bush at a fundraiser in Austin on Wednesday, a picture-worthy reunion featuring several Texas politicians who have held some of the highest positions in state government over the last quarter century.

Bush, who was elected governor of Texas in 1994, was in the middle of his first term when a 24-year-old Bonnen began serving in the Texas House. The two would work under the same dome for four years until Bush left the governor’s office in 2000 to become president.

The current and former politicians gathered at the Texas State University Foundation Gala, which raises money for university programs. Gathered together in a picture Bonnen posted to Twitter were Republicans Bush, Bonnen, former speakers Joe Straus (2009-2019) and Tom Craddick (2003-2009) and Democratic former Speaker Pete Laney (1993-2003).

All worked in the Texas Capitol while Bush was governor except for Straus, although he worked in the late President George H. W. Bush’s first presidential campaign and in Bush’s administration with a post the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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