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Efforts To Oust Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan Intensify Ahead Of Runoff Election

Joining the pro-voucher fight is The Club for Growth, a national political group that plans to spend nearly $1 million to unseat Texas House Speaker Dade Pehlan in the upcoming GOP runoff election.

The Club for Growth, typically focused on congressional races and backed by GOP donors, has allocated $900,000 for the Beaumont media market to support Phelan’s opponent, David Covey, as first reported by San Antonio Express-News. 

Phelan, a Beaumont Republican, is facing a runoff against Covey on May 28th. The winner will be elected since no Democrats are contesting the seat.

Phelan has been under attack from his fellow Republican members for his decisions last year to appoint Democratic committee chairs and his role in impeaching Attorney General Ken Paxton. If he were to lose, that would mark the first time a Texas House speaker has lost reelection since 1972.

Eyeing his place as House Speaker is State Rep. Tom Oliverson of Cypress, who authored the House’s controversial law last year to ban gender transition care for transgender youth, and has criticized Phelan’s “colossal failure of leadership.”

The Club for Growth’s investment is part of a broader $4 million ad campaign targeting five GOP runoffs, focusing on incumbents who opposed private school vouchers. The Club for Growth views Phelan as an impediment to passing “school choice” in Texas, aligning its efforts with Governor Greg Abbott’s agenda to unseat voucher opponents, according to San Antonio Express-News.

Abbott has been silent about Phelan’s reelection and has recently appeared alongside Phelan in several events, which contrasts with his pro-voucher crusade. In addition, Phelan’s first term as House Speaker in 2021 has been described by Abbott as one of the most conservative legislative sessions in Texas history.

Abbott’s continued efforts in the May runoffs could secure enough support to advance his private school voucher plan in the next legislative session. The Governor needs his favored candidates to win at least two of the four close races.

Written by RA News staff.


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