For the first time in more than 50 years, a sitting speaker of the Texas House has been forced into a party primary runoff. House Speaker Dade Phelan placed second in the three-person primary. He now faces David Covey on May 28. Mr. Covey had previously been endorsed by Donald Trump, Ken Paxton, Sid Miller, and nearly every conservative grassroots group in the state.

While Gov. Greg Abbott was silent in the first round, we asked readers what they thought he should he should do—if anything—during the runoff.

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Here is a sampling of the comments we received from our readers after they voted in the survey.


“Dade Phelan worked against the agenda of Republicans and Abbott.  Why wouldn’t he endorse Covey?” — Lisa Buck

“This race is too important to Texas for him to stay silent too long.” — Thomas Camardo

“Mr. Abbott, stay in your lane and out of my business.” – Dale Zuck

“Abbott has endorsed Trump. Trump has endorsed Covey. Abbott should endorse Covey.” — Gene Deutscher

“Governor Abbott should endorse David Covey because Phelan has proven himself to be a true Democrat disguised as a RINO. Those that back Phelan are RINOs as well.” — Sam Bridges

“It’s very telling that Greg Abbott hasn’t endorsed someone besides Phelan in this race!” – Gene Glass

“We need to do anything and everything we can to get rid of Dade Phelan.  He’s an embarrassment to Texas, from being intoxicated on the House floor to being disrespectful to the Representatives and his arrogance towards the Lt. Governor and the Senate. He is a toxic member of the Legislature and needs to go.” — Susan Valliant

“I am asking Gov. Abbott to endorse David Covey to replace Despicable Dade in the upcoming runoff election. We absolutely have to rid the Texas House of every single member of the ‘Texas Dirty Dozen’!” — Bill Hall

“I don’t like Dade Phelan’s choices. But I want the people of Texas to have an honest election with no pressure from anyone for or against him.” – Karen Boone

“I do not follow Abbott’s endorsements because he often supports people that my research reveals are not the best candidates. I definitely support David Covey, and Abbott’s endorsement or lack of endorsement would not change that.” – Cynthia Wills

“If Gov. Abbott doesn’t endorse David Covey, he’s pretty much telling us he just doesn’t really care about Phelan’s shenanigans.” – Lloyd Smith

“Phelan has got to go and Abbott should help by endorsing Covey.” – Charles Koenig

“I’m a bit conflicted on this issue. On the one hand, I believe Gov Abbott should keep his powder dry … but, on the other hand, I believe anything and everything should be done to make certain ‘Failing Phelan’ leaves (and remains out of) the public sector.” – J. Rhone

“While Abbott is a RINO…I think the more the merrier!” — Dana Krasinski

“I think Abbott should stay out of the race. He had an opportunity to back Covey but didn’t.  True to form, I’m sure Abbott will jump on the bandwagon so he can appear to make a stand.” — Reid Davidson

“While I would love to see Governor Abbott make a statement in opposition to Dade Phelan by endorsing Covey, I also question how an Abbott endorsement might be received by Covey’s conservative base. A Trump rally in Texas with David Covey would carry far more weight.” — Shilo Platts

“Governor Abbott should endorse David Covey as it has been proven that Dade Phelan is a cancer to the conservative movement!” – Greg Burr

“I think even if I am not a fan of Abbot, because of his habit of waiting until almost too late to stand up for our conservative ideas, I think he should endorse Covey.” — Margie Barlow

“Yes, endorse Covey. Phelan, the corrupt RINO, has to go. Period.” — Eric Knutson

“If Abbott is a true conservative, which he gives me many examples to doubt, he will use all of his influence to get Phelan out of Texas politics.” — Steve Creviere

“Gov. Abbott should stay out of this one. Enough endorsements. Let the people vote and decide.” – Chuck Webb

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