The fallout from Gov. Greg Abbott’s failed 2023 school voucher push fueled his determination to target rural Republicans who voted against them. To do so, the Governor is endorsing their challengers in the upcoming 2024 March primary.
Among these contenders is the intriguing political figure Marc LaHood, who allegedly previously aligned with the Democratic party. With Abbott’s blessing, LaHood has emerged as a significant figure in the GOP primary, challenging incumbent Steve Allison.
LaHood’s political journey has been influenced by his family ties, particularly his older brother Nico LaHood, the former Bexar County District Attorney. During his single term from 2015-2018, Nico gained national attention for calling Islam “horrifically violent” and voicing fake statements such as claiming that vaccines “can and do cause autism,” as reported by San Antonio Express-News.
His inflammatory statements and unproven claims led to his defeat in the 2018 Democratic primary against Joe Gonzales. Nico has since declared himself a Republican.
Later, In 2019, Nico faced a yearlong probated suspension for an incident involving his former Democratic opponent. In 2017, Nico was accused of threatening to “destroy” and “shut down” Gonzales’ practice after a mistrial was declared in the case of their client, Miguel Martinez, by Gonzales.
Following a review of pleadings, evidence, and arguments, an evidentiary panel concluded that Nico engaged in professional misconduct. The panel’s report highlighted that while representing a client, Nico employed tactics with no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person.
After Nico exited the political arena, his brother Marc contested Gonzales in his 2022 Bexar County District Attorney reelection campaign. Gonzales easily fended off the challenge from LaHood to win a second term.
After losing his run for the DA seat in the November 2022 midterm elections, LaHood turned his sights to the Texas House District 121 seat, for the 2024 March primary.
He is challenging Steve Allison, a strong opponent of school vouchers. He voted alongside 21 rural Republicans to strip vouchers from the education bill in November’s special. After that vote -for the Raney Amendment- Abbott endorsed the 58 House Republicans who voted for vouchers. He then proceeded to back many of the challengers of the 21 House Republicans who didn’t – amongst them Marc LaHood.
LaHood has praised Abbott for his “unwavering leadership” on the voucher issue and has blasted Allison for his “continued opposition to giving parents better choices and better options in the education of our children.”
LaHood said he joined the GOP primary because Allison prioritizes the institution of public education over “the best interests of the families and children of our community,” no longer serving their best interests.