The Smith County Chair of the Democratic Party, Michael Tolbert, released a statement on Wednesday regarding Texas Speaker Joe Straus' decision to not run for reelection.

Tolbert said "It is disheartening to see the overwhelming influence of divisiveness and intolerance inflicting widespread damage on our governmental bodies and guiding principles."

He also said the Smith County Democratic Party regrets the "brutal assault" waged on the people of Texas by groups like the Texas Freedom Caucus who push their political agenda at the expense of Texas families who work hard.

The Smith County Democratic Party wishes the Speaker and his family all the best in the future and thank him for his service to the state of Texas.