HOLLYWOOD PARK, Texas—With the governor throwing his support behind him, conservative candidate Chris Fails is hoping it provides his campaign with an extra shot of adrenaline before the March 6th election.
In Northwest San Antonio, Fails is challenging State Rep. Lyle Larson (R–San Antonio) for his seat in the Texas House. Fails, the current mayor of Hollywood Park and owner of Alamo Shooting Sports, is positioning himself as a conservative alternative to the incumbent—something that doesn’t take much effort given Larson’s liberal record.
First elected in 2011, Larson has been one of House Speaker Joe Straus’ staunchest allies in the Texas Legislature, serving as one of his enforcers on the floor of the Texas House and as one of his closest confidants. Larson and Straus have been close since before either of them took office, with Larson’s father serving as the Straus family’s horse veterinarian.
As could be expected, given his proximity to Straus and his role in the Democrat coalition Straus enabled to control the chamber, Larson has one of the most liberal records out of Texas House Republicans, earning a disastrous 40 on the most recent Fiscal Responsibility Index.
That score is only four points higher than the highest performing Democrat, State Rep. Joe Pickett of El Paso, who earned a 36.
Meanwhile, Fails has a strong record of limited government at the local level. On Hollywood Park’s City Council, he actively pushed for property tax relief and actually secured tax cuts for homeowners—actual cuts as measured by the effective rate, not just cuts in the rate. It’s for that positive record, and Larson’s negative record in the Texas Legislature, that Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed him in his race.
“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,” said Abbott. “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.”
Fails says he’s been inundated with support from conservatives and business owners in his district in the hours following the endorsement.
“I thought I had a lot of support before, but it’s been an avalanche over the past 24 hours,” said Fails. “There are people all across the district calling and saying they want signs, making donations online, and signing up to volunteer.”
This article is part of Texas Scorecard’s “On the Trail Tour” series. To view more field reports on campaigns across the state of Texas, visit our website here.
Zach Maxwell contributed to this report.

Cary Cheshire

Cary Cheshire is the executive director of Texans for Strong Borders, a no-compromise non-profit dedicated to restoring security and sovereignty to the citizens of the Lone Star State. For more information visit StrongBorders.org.