Following the lead of the Republican Party of Orange County in censuring State House Speaker Dade Phelan last month, the Republican Party of Ellis County has officially passed their own censure.

The resolution, passed in a vote of 24-1, takes aim at Phelan’s record of opposing core principles of the Republican Party of Texas. Most notably, the Ellis County GOP calls out Phelan for giving committee chairmanships to Democrats, despite the Texas GOP encouraging legislators to end the practice.

“State Representative Dade Phelan, as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, has abused the power of his office and his authority as Speaker by taking more than three actions during this current biennium that are either in opposition to the core principles of the Republican Party of Texas, in opposition to the Republican Party of Texas Legislative Priorities, or both,” reads the resolution. 

The censure resolution outlines multiple occasions where Phelan went against the party’s principles and assigned nine different Democrats with committee chairmanships. Phelan appointed Democrat State Reps. Oscar Longoria (Mission), Abel Herrero (Robstown), Victoria Neave (Dallas), Joe Moody (El Paso), Harold V. Dutton (Houston), Tracy King (Uvalde), R.D. “Bobby” Guerra (Mission), Terry Canales (Edinburg), and Senfronia Thompson (Houston) to various committees where key legislation went to die.

The resolution claims that due to Phelan consciously appointing all nine Democrats to committee chairmanships, he has violated eight out of the 12 RPT core principles.

In House Speaker Phelan’s conscious decision to appoint multiple Democrat chairs to house committees in direct opposition to both the Republican Party of Texas legislative priorities and 81.24% of the most recent Texas Republican Primary election voters, the aggregate peril of Phelan’s appointments thereby also places Speaker Phelan in violation of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth core principles of the RPT Platform.

Additionally, the censure resolution condemns Phelan for allowing House Bill 20 to die. HB 20 would have created a state-controlled Border Protection Unit to arrest, apprehend or detain illegal aliens crossing the Texas-Mexico border.

If the resolution is concurred by the Republican Party of Texas, it would prevent the party from spending funds in Phelan’s re-election effort. Candidates have already begun announcing campaigns against Phelan, including former Orange County Republican Chairman David Covey.

The Texas Republican primary will be held March 5, 2024.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.