He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives for 34 years from Hale Center (near Plainview). Mr. Laney served as Speaker for ten years from 1993 to 2003. Laney served as Chair of the Southern Legislative Conference and President of the National Speakers Conference. James Earl Laney, Sr., known as Pete Laney (born March 20, 1943), is a U. S. Democratic Party politician from West Texas. He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1973 to 2007. Sep 01, 2017 · Pete Laney, a Democrat and Texas Panhandle farmer, served as House speaker from 1993 to 2003. He recalls Paul Moreno as always dedicated to his causes, always passionate and unselfish, not the type... Current Speaker Pete Laney (D-Hale Center) is running for re-election, and because of his strong history of working with Republicans could stand a chance of retaining his office. However, most observers predict that if the Republicans gain a substantial majority in the House, a Republican speaker will be selected. AUSTIN, Texas—The Center for American History (CAH) at The University of Texas at Austin has initiated a one-year project to conduct oral histories with Speakers of the Texas House, including current Speaker Tom Craddick.