Republicans in the Texas Statehouse say they dedicated a Freedom Caucus within the Legislature to advancing grassroots conservative values, and they hope the caucus will be a significant influence in the selection of the next speaker of the state House.

“Texas is a bright red state, a Republican stronghold, but it has been frustrating to many of us that the voice of conservatism, the voice of grassroots across our state, finds it difficult to be heard on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives,” state Rep. Jeff Leach, a member of the caucus, told The Daily Signal in an interview.

Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, who was elected to the post by many Democrats, but only about a dozen Republicans, according to The Federalist, is stepping down and will not be running for re-election in 2018.

State Rep. Matt Schaefer, a member of the Freedom Caucus, says this is an opportunity for even greater success in advancing conservative legislation.