Outgoing Texas House speaker Dennis Bonnen leaves legacy of political ambition, talent and scandal

AUSTIN — In the end, Dennis Bonnen is leaving the Texas Capitol the same way he came in.

Combative. Unapologetic. And unafraid to stick it to those on the other side of a fight.

Through a 24-year career in the House, Bonnen made fast friends and political enemies as he pushed conservative, pro-business bills through the Legislature and steamrolled through opposing committee witnesses and lawmakers.

After being elected to his Brazoria County House seat at the age of 24, Bonnen immediately flashed the cunning and political savvy that would become his trademark and ultimately help him oversee the passage of