Abbott Endorses 58 House Republicans
Including 41 Who Voted to Impeach AG
November 20, 2023
Governor Greg Abbott issued a bouquet of endorsements to 58 Texas House Republicans for re-election races on Monday as a debt of gratitude for their roles as the losers of the fight for private school choice on the lower chamber floor during the weekend.
Abbott's team also tried to take credit behind the scenes for GOP State Rep. Andrew Murr's unexpected announcement today that he will not seek another term in the House in 2024. Murr was one of 21 House Republicans who voted on Friday night for an amendment that removed education savings accounts from a larger school funding measure in a vote of 84-63.
The governor offered a rousing farewell to five other GOP representatives who voted to kill an anti-vouchers amendment but aren't seeking new terms in 2024. But Abbott didn't mention Murr or three other House Republicans who are retiring without re-election campaigns next year - apparently as payback for votes to kill ESAs.
Murr cited family and professional responsibilities that he's juggled with work as a lawmaker for almost nine years in the House. "I've put ranch work on hold, often to its own detriment, and now - quite literally - cows are calling me home," Murr said in a long statement on the abrupt decision to pull the plug on a 2024 campaign.
Abbott had threatened to back primary challengers against House Republicans who defied him on school choice. But Murr had far more to fear as a top target for Attorney General Ken Paxton in the GOP primary election as a consequence of his part as the chief investigator and prosecutor for the House in its failed bid to impeach the elected state lawyer. Paxton is backing at least two dozen challengers in primary clashes with House incumbents who backed his impeachment.
The Republican governor did not appear concerned that he might offend the attorney general today when he endorsed 41 House Republicans who voted to oust Paxton from office. Abbott has refused to acknowledge that the impeachment took place. He didn't mention it in the group endorsement for pro-vouchers representatives late this afternoon.
All of the House Republicans
who Abbott snubbed voted for a landmark border security bill that gave him a token win for an otherwise wasted special session. The governor's actions seem to make it clear that school choice is the only issue that he considered a true priority in a fourth special session.
Votes for vouchers were a prerequisite for Abbott's 58 endorsements today.
“These House Republicans were instrumental in passing and sending critical legislation to my desk, including major border security efforts to continue to build the Texas border wall, combat human smuggling and drug trafficking, and create penalties for illegal entry into Texas; the largest property tax cut in Texas history with $18 billion going back to Texas taxpayers; and parent empowerment laws to give parents more rights in their child’s education and remove inappropriate books from school libraries," Abbott said.
"Our work for Texas parents and students is not done. Each of these House Republicans are proven fighters, and I am proud to endorse every one of these strong conservatives who are seeking reelection. I encourage Texans to join me in supporting them for re-election so we can pass school choice for all Texas families and continue to build a safer, brighter, and more prosperous Texas of tomorrow.”
more to come ...