‘RINO’ Texas House Speaker in Major Election Trouble After Trump-Backed Opponent Forces Runoff

A Trump-backed challenger has forced Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan into a runoff election.

According to CBS, challenger David Covey won 46 percent of the vote against Phelan’s 43 percent. Because neither candidate reached the 50 percent mark in the three-way race, a runoff will be held.

Covey is a former chairman of the Orange County Republican Party.

He has the support of Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and former President Donald Trump, according to the Texas Tribune.

“This has been a disastrous night for Dade Phelan,”  Patrick said, according to The New York Times. “We’re a conservative state. A crimson red state. And we’ll always be.”

“Let this runoff be a rallying cry for all conservatives across Texas,” Paxton said, according to the Associated Press. “The battle lines are drawn, and our resolve has never been stronger.”

“Today’s election results have revealed that the battle for the soul of Texas is far from over,” Paxton said.

Phelan offered similar language but a different perspective.

“This runoff is not just another race, it’s the frontline of the battle for the soul of our district,” Phelan said in a statement, according to the Tribune. “While my opponent hides behind empty rhetoric, dishonest advertising and surrogate voices, I stand before voters with a clear record of service and conservative success.”

Phelan and Paxton have been at odds ever since Phelan supported impeaching Paxton last year, an effort that failed to remove Paxton once the case reached the state Senate.

Phelan had won easily in his past elections. One measure of the primary vote was that no Texas House speaker had lost a primary vote since 1972.

Covey and his backers attacked Phelan as a RINO (Republican in Name Only), criticizing the appointment of some Democrats to chair House committees and saying that border security bills were not sufficient or passed soon enough.

Covey said Phelan was supporting  “his liberal donors and friends in the Texas House” more than his constituents, according to the Houston Chronicle.

There is no Democratic candidate in the race.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.


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