AUSTIN- A late legislative win for Republicans seems to
have secured the GOP majority in the Texas House -- if only by a
two-seat margin.
      The Associated Press reports the narrow 76-74 majority appears
to give momentum back to Tom Craddick of Midland in the volatile
speaker's race.
      The Irving seat held by Republican Rep. Linda Harper-Brown had
not been decided since last week's election.
      But after the count of overseas and provisional ballots was
completed -- the incumbent held a 20-vote lead over her Democratic
      Harper-Brown's opponent, Bob Romano, says he intends to request
a recount.
      Craddick's detractors have long complained that he rules the
chamber like a dictator and strongarms lawmakers into obedience.
      The 150-member House will choose a leader with a vote during the
first week of the legislative session, which begins Jan. 13.