Gov. Greg Abbott continued his streak of holding obstructionist lawmakers accountable today by endorsing Hollywood Park Mayor Chris Fails in his campaign against incumbent State Rep. Lyle Larson (R–San Antonio.)
In a video announcing the endorsement, Abbott offered the following praise of Fails:
Texans deserve leaders in Austin who will work to elevate our great state to even greater heights. That’s why I am endorsing Chris Fails for Texas State Representative. During the next legislative session, we have an opportunity to pass conservative policies—policies like property tax reform that will benefit every Texan. Chris is a small business owner that has served as an elected official at the local level. He knows firsthand the devastating impact that rising property taxes have on families and on small businesses. I know that he will work with me to advance my plan to empower Texas voters to reign in skyrocketing property taxes for the people of his district.
Abbott’s decision to endorse Fails comes on the heels of his predecessor, Rick Perry’s, decision to support Fails as well.
First elected to represent HD 122, a district in northern Bexar county, in 2014, Larson has since amassed a grisly record of opposing conservative reforms in the Texas House, repeatedly earning failing grades on the Fiscal Responsibility Index.
Larson outraged conservatives during the most recent session when he voted against an amendment by State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler) to strengthen the sanctuary cities bill prioritized by Abbott. Though the amendment was ultimately successful, Larson was one of only nine Republican members to join Democrats in opposing the effort.
His pattern of fiscal irresponsibility doesn’t end there. Larson also voted with Democrats to kill a bill limiting the growth of state spending to population plus inflation, one of Abbott’s priorities, during the special session.
But one of Larson’s most egregious actions was to attack Abbott and accuse him of selling appointments for campaign donations. Larson’s effort narrowly passed the Straus-controlled house despite a majority of Republican members voting against the proposal.
Abbott’s endorsement today against an incumbent Republican House member marks the third time this cycle the governor has supported conservative challengers, endorsing Susanna Dokupil against State Rep. Sarah Davis of West University Place in November, and Mayes Middleton in his campaign against State Rep. Wayne Faircloth of Dickinson last month.
Fails has also been endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Right to Life, and the Young Conservatives of Texas. The Republican primary election between the two candidates will be held on March 6th.