November 20, 2022      5:15 PM
SB: A symbolic speaker race signaling the 2024 Texas GOP legislative primaries are already underway
There’s always a plot to take down a speaker, no matter who it is. This time the barbarians at the gate include the Republican Party of Texas going up against Speaker Phelan, who spent $5.6 million defending and expanding the Texas House GOP majority
After Texas House
Speaker Dade Phelan drew a challenge from Rep. Tony Tinderholt, the
Capitol was immediately abuzz about all the personal problems the
challenger has had over the years including multiple marriages and various accusations.
But that kind of dirt was previously litigated in Tinderholt’s
elections for the Arlington House district he represents. It is the kind of
sniping that political professionals should expect when a candidate with personal
baggage throws his or her hat in the ring.
So, let’s get real about what this is really about: The 2024 GOP primaries.
Allied organizations including
the Republican Party of Texas, Defend Texas Liberty PAC,
Grassroots America We the People, Texas Scorecard (it’s just
Empower Texans under a different name), and others are putting GOP
members on notice that “Any GOP Rep. voting for Speaker Phelan next session is
voting for Democrats being chairman.” Those are the words of former Rep. Jonathan
Stickland, who runs Defend Texas Liberty PAC’s operations on behalf of West
Texas megadonors Tim Dunn and Farris Wilks. Stickland added that
there will be “accountability.”
For incoming freshmen and
even sophomore Republican members, this might sound pretty
threatening coming from groups willing and able to deploy millions of dollars against
them in primaries. But this has happened before and there are lessons to be
learned from those who came before you.
By Scott Braddock