It was a “Praise, God” moment when candidate Lisa Luby Ryan defeated State Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas RER ) in the 2018 GOP primary for House District 114.
Since his first term as a state rep, Villalba snuggled comfortably in the nest of Joe Straus. He earned the nickname “Attach Chihuahua” because of his vitriolic attacks on prominent liberty movement activists like RERcontributor Alice Linahan, former Texas GOP Chairwoman Cathy Adams, and others. He debated in proxy on behalf of the Straus reelection campaign for Texas Speaker prior to the 2015 legislative session and called Straus “Reagan-like”. That comment resulted in ceiling-lifting laughter from the debate audience. And, he challenged the liberty movement grassroots to “take him out”.
Through the candidacy of Lisa Luby Ryan, they did.
The liberty movement had Villalba as one of its top targets to eliminate from the Austin Capitol, but could never find a strong enough candidate to extricate him from office until this past election season. Lisa Luby Ryan possessed all the credentials to do so with extremely high name ID and a long resume of political activism.
Ryan exploited Villalba’s skyrocketing negatives among high-info voters, executed an intensive ground game, and was able to raise a competitive amount of campaign funds from individual donors to vanquish the “Attach Chihuahua” by six points. She’s expected to be an ally on most issues with the Texas House Freedom Caucus which is majority comprised of other Dallas and North Texas reps.
In this RERexclusive interview, Ryan explains what she believes were the pertinent issues and campaign tactics that led to her success in defeating a well-entrenched incumbent with heavy financial backing from the Pink Dome plutocrats, and the favorite attack dog of the disgraced, soon-to-be former Texas Speaker, Joe Straus.
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