The buzz around Republican state Rep. Scott Turner has taken a sharp uptick. Fresh from his star turn keynote address at the Texas Public Policy Forum policy orientation on Wednesday, Turner has filed the paperwork to challenge state Rep. Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) for the gavel in the Texas House of Representatives. Turner announced his decision on Twitter today.

The conservative Republican former NFL star, who is a freshman in the Texas House, will be taking on an entrenched and powerful speaker who has beaten back several past challenges. Straus maintains his seat, ironically given the Republicans’ overwhelming majority in the House, by blending a unified Democrat caucus plus enough Republicans voting together to keep him as speaker.

Turner will be facing an uphill fight, but his entire life story is about taking on one uphill fight after another. He has shown during the TPPF forum in Austin this week that he can inspire like few others in the House, and I’m told by a reliable source that Turner brings strong policy acumen to the table as well. “He’s a wonk,” is what I’m hearing, who backs his speaking skills with detailed policy knowledge.