On Thursday, the notoriously left-leaning Houston Chronicle announced its endorsement of Republican Harris County Judge Ed Emmett largely due to his decisions to thwart grassroots conservatives and raise taxes.

“From saving the Astrodome to advocating for state Medicaid expansion, the county judge has routinely bucked his own party for the sake of the public good,” writes the Chronicle. “He even succeeded in passing, overwhelmingly, a property tax increase to fund a flood infrastructure bond.”

But the praise hasn’t ended there. While media sycophants will cheer establishment Republicans for compromising with Democrats, the real commendations come when they outright betray their own party. Emmett did that in his Chronicle endorsement interview—telling the editorial board that “he’s voting for Democratic candidate Mike Collier for lieutenant governor.”

Emmett’s support for the Democrat should draw strong condemnation from Harris County Republicans, many of whom have long preached unity to conservatives dissatisfied with elected officials like pro-abortion State Rep. Sarah Davis (R–West University Place) and former District Attorney Devon Anderson.

But no condemnation has come. On the heels of the news of Emmett’s support for Collier being released Thursday morning, Texas Scorecard reached out to Harris County GOP Chairman Paul Simpson for comment.

In his comment, Simpson explicitly refused to condemn Emmett for his refusal to back Patrick in this year’s election.

“I greatly appreciate Lt. Gov. Patrick’s steadfast support of our entire Republican ticket this year and every year,” wrote Simpson in a statement. “And while I don’t agree with all of Judge Emmett’s decisions, I appreciate his support for Senator Ted Cruz and for Republican candidates down the ballot. We look forward to working with both Lt. Governor Patrick and County Judge Emmett, as well as Senator Cruz and Governor Abbott and all of our candidates, to elect all Republicans on our ticket in November!”

Harris County Republicans should ask hard questions of Emmett, Simpson, and other Republican leaders. In regard to Emmett, grassroots voters should ask why, if he is unwilling to personally commit to voting for conservative champions like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick—who are elected as Republicans and then keep their promises to voters—GOP voters should continue to vote for him. And in regard to Simpson, Republicans should ask why everyday citizens and conservatives appear to receive more criticism from him than establishment incumbents.

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