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Infighting Intensifies: Texas GOP Lawmakers Censured For Targeting Incumbents

The Texas House Republican Caucus executive committee has censured four representatives for campaigning against fellow Republican incumbents, infuriating state officials and the party’s most conservative wing.

The five-member executive committee voted unanimously Monday night to censure the lawmakers. Reps. Brian Harrison of Midlothian, Nate Schatzline of Fort Worth, Tony Tinderholt of Arlington and Steve Toth of The Woodlands.

Campaigning against a fellow GOP incumbent violates a rule adopted by the Texas House Republican Caucus in 2019.

“We were notified tonight we have been CENSURED by the Texas House GOP Caucus for campaigning with Gov. Abbott, Sen. Cruz, Lt. Gov Patrick, AG Paxton, and Comm. Miller against liberal incumbents,” the four Republicans wrote in a statement.

“We are proud to have helped many true conservatives join the Texas House; something we will continue to do, regardless of any absurd caucus rules designed to protect the uniparty swamp,” the statement continued. “At a time when Republicans should be unifying against Democrats, the Caucus is divisively punishing conservatives.”

The four lawmakers joined PACs targeting incumbents, donated to their challengers’ campaigns, and also spoke out publicly against their fellow incumbents.

According to the Texas Tribune, the targeted incumbents were Reps. DeWayne Burns of Cleburne, Justin Holland of Rockwall, Stephanie Klick of Fort Worth, John Kuempel of Seguin, Lynn Stucky of Denton and House Speaker Dade Phelan of Beaumont.

“The outrage slowed you down from kicking them out of the caucus. Then, you show such cowardice and believe that censuring them is the best way to save face,” Paxton wrote on X/Twitter. “The establishment Republicans in the Texas House have not learned their lesson even after 15 incumbents were sent packing.”

In the March primary, incumbents were targeted for opposing vouchers and voting to impeach Paxton. Many incumbents lost their seats to challengers backed by state officials like Paxton and Abbott.

One of the incumbents who lost his seat is Rep. Glenn Rogers, R-Graford, who told the Tribune that he was the one who filed the complaint to the executive committee.

“[Farris] Wilks and [Tim] Dunn candidates have a history of getting away with things with just a slap on the wrist, due to fear of retribution,” he said. “The House has been the only body to ever hold them accountable. Imagine the loss of accountability with [the] election of a compliant speaker.”

Both Wilks and Dunn are billionaires who have donated huge amounts of money to support GOP’s right-wing candidates.

Republicans recently approved a rule that would bar censured candidates from appearing on primary ballots. Other GOP members that have been censured are Dade Phelan and U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales.

However, the four censured Republicans have said they will continue to fight their moderate colleagues.

“Despite this action, we will continue fighting for Republicans in November.”

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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