From President Donald J. Trump, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, all the way down to Texas Speaker Joe Straus, entrenched anti-liberty Republican officeholders have pledged their involvement in the 2018 GOP primaries around the country. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has signaled the same intention.
With no credible opposition to his re-election (again), and his campaign treasury approaching a cash-on-hand total of $45 million, it’s not clear yet if Abbott is going to toss out mountains of Franklins. But, the Governor has commenced announcing Pink Dome endorsements and it gives us a floor-to-ceiling window view into his political savvy, or the lack thereof.
What can be said of the Abbott primary endorsements, with certainty, is that they reflect the general political philosophy demonstrated by Abbott throughout his political career. “Do the easy thing”.
The contradictions in Abbott’s endorsements are so glaring, it’s impossible to determine what parameters he and his political advisors relied on to come to their selections. The endorsed candidates’ positions on the political spectrum are as wide as the Bush Tollway. The only spec they have in common is that they have R’s behind their names on the ballot.
To date, RER discovered 22 endorsements announced and posted to the Abbott website. They range from State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Spring RER100) to State Rep. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches RER52) that has been #RULE44’d by the Cherokee County Gop. (More on the Clardy endorsement in a future RER report).
The first posted endorsement is in support of State Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin RER61) who is best known for work in previous legislative sessions to make the vilified Texas Solution a lawful reality, and giving driving licenses to illegal invaders. Workman is infamously remembered for telling a group of his constituents that his reason for being in office was to “better his business”.
Workman faces two challengers. Jay Wiley was identified as the liberty movement (LM) candidate in their first faceoff during the 2016 primary.
The difficulty in picking challenger Susanna Dokupil over State Rep. Sarah “Planned Parenthood” Davis (R-West University RER34) points to Abbott’s penchant for doing the easy thing.
Going with State Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston RER75) couldn’t have been too hard with challenger Kristin Tassin’s ties to Joe Straus. The animosity between the Texas Senate, the Governor’s Mansion, and the Straus-ians is well documented – especially after the 2017 Legislative Session ended in outright verbal combat between the governing-power Texas Triad.
Other than Davis, the only other incumbent that Abbott has endorsed against is State Rep. Wayne Faircloth (R-Galveston RER70) who faces a challenge from Wallisville’s Mayes Middleton, President of Middleton Oil Company. Middleton is the most recent endorsement posted to the Abbott site.
The good news of the Abbott endorsements is that he did endorse three incumbents that are members of the Texas House Freedom Caucus that are facing challengers in the March 6 Primary.
Along with Swanson, State Rep. Mike Lang (R-Grandbury RER98), and State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler RER99) grabbed the Governor’s checkmark. Religious liberty favorite State Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrolton RER75) may get an advantage with Abbott’s endorsement because of the weird ballot dynamic of being challenged by Kevin Simmons.
The hilarious component of the Abbott endorsements has to be the fact that of the 22 endorsements announced, eleven of them (half), don’t even have primary opponents! (Just keep doing the easy thing, Gregory).
The Governor’s site posted the endorsement of Straus-ian RINO State Rep. Leighton Schubert (R-Caldwell RER70) on November 21. On December 7, four days before the candidacy filing window was to close, Schubert announced his decision not to run for re-election.
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