(February 2, 2008)--Republican Speaker Tom Craddick predicts he'll be elected to a fourth term as leader of the Texas House.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Craddick says he thinks the races "look good." He also thinks Republicans are in position to maintain their majority.

Craddick's optimism comes after a messy showdown last year in the Texas Capitol.

The Midland Republican triumphed over a coup attempt at the end of last year's legislative session by asserting "absolute authority."

He refused to allow the parliamentary maneuver that would have resulted in a House vote on ousting him.

The 150-member chamber will vote for speaker when they reconvene in Austin next January.

A handful of House veterans already have filed the necessary paperwork to run against him as speaker.

Craddick is the longest-serving member of the Legislature.

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