Phelan Counters Trump Intervention
with Support that's More Homegrown
February 5, 2024
GOP Speaker Dade Phelan sought on Monday to fortify a re-election campaign that the probable leader of his party's ticket is trying to destroy when he rolled out a long list of endorsements from local elected officials, party leaders and groups representing police and firefighters in the district he represents.
Phelan touted support that he'd received from 25 individuals including the Republican Party chairs from Jefferson and Orange counties - Joe Evans and Leo LaBauve respectively. Phelan also listed Orange County GOP Christy Khoury as an official backer in his bid for a sixth term in House District 21.
Phelan's support from the Orange party activists is significant in light of the executive committee's 14-6 vote in July to censure him in response to the lead role he had in the House's attempt to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton last spring. Phelan's chief primary foe - David Covey - served as the Orange County GOP chair before his emergence as a candidate in HD 21.
Alicia Davis of Jasper is running in the GOP primary in HD 21 as well and could force a runoff that pits Phelan against Covey if and when she's eliminated in the initial election on March 5. Paxton's camp believes that overtime is on the horizon in the speaker's district.
Covey is the first legislative candidate in Texas in modern times with a former president who's on track for a third nomination in his corner. Donald Trump endorsed Covey last week complete with a scathing analysis of Phelan and why he has to go.
Paxton had been Covey's most active major supporter before Trump dove into the fray five weeks before the round one election here. But Phelan may have felt like his critics were piling on when Lieutenant Governor Dan Phelan released a video during the weekend to promote Trump's endorsement for Covey.
Patrick accused Phelan of misleading primary voters by pointing out that he'd voted for Trump twice before and planned to again in November. Patrick noted that he'd served as Trump's campaign chair in Texas since the first race in 2016 and had never seen Phelan at any events on his behalf.
"He's never offered to help," Patrick said. "So why is Dade trying to fool you now? Because he knows he's in trouble with the voters.
"Dade Phelan can't fool Donald Trump," Patrick added. "And Dade Phelan will not be able to fool you."
Patrick didn't package the video as a formal endorsement. But it will have the same effect regardless. Phelan expressed his gratitude for the support he garnered and revealed today.
"I am deeply thankful for every endorsement and the confidence they represent in my leadership," Phelan said in an email. "Together, we will continue to champion the conservative values that make Texas strong and ensure our community's voice is heard loud and clear in the Texas House."
more to come ...
Dade Phelan Endorsements
- Billy Rowles, Former Sheriff Jasper County & Newton County
- Seth Martindale, Jasper County Commissioner Precinct 1
- Willie Stark, Jasper County Commissioner Precinct 3
- Johnny Trahan, Orange County Commissioner Precinct 1
- Kirk Rocaforte, Orange County Commissioner Precinct 3
- Robert Viator, Orange County Commissioner Precinct 4
- Bryan Warner, Jefferson County Constable Precinct 4
- Bobby Adams, Jefferson County Constable Precinct 7
- Cary Erickson, Jefferson County Commissioner
- Joe Evans, Jefferson County GOP Chair
- Leo LaBauve, Orange County GOP Chair
- Christy Khoury, Orange County Treasurer
- Roy West, Mayor of Beaumont
- David Rutledge, Mayor of Bridge City
- Randy Branch, Mayor of West Orange
- Larry Spears, Mayor of Orange
- Anderson Land, Mayor of Jasper
- Mike Getz, Beaumont City Council Ward 2
- Randy Sonnier, Nederland City Council Ward 3
- Terri T. Salter, City of Orange Council member District 3
- Aaron Roccaforte, Bridge City City Councilman Place 1
- Emmitt Hollier, Former Nederland City Council
- Paul Zoch, Bridge City Independent School District Board of Trustees
- Pat Anderson, Port of Beaumont Commissioner
- Rick Williams, Nederland Attorney & former Family Court Judge
- Vidor Police Association
- Beaumont Firefighters Association
- International Union of Operating Engineers (IOEU) Local 450
- Sabine Area Labor Council
- National Rifle Association
- Texas State Association of Fire Fighters
- Texas Farm Bureau AGFUND
- Texas State Rifle Association
- Texas Alliance for Life
- Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
- Life PAC
- Texas Dept of Public Safety Officers Association (DPSOA)
- National Federation of Independent Business
- Texas Association of Business
- Texas Oil & Gas Association PAC
- Texas REALTORS® Political Action Committee (TREPAC)
- Texas Nurse Practitioners PAC
- Texas Chemistry Council
- Texans for Lawsuit Reform