As US Sen. Ted Cruz gears up for a general election fight against a Democrat, his campaign team is growing in size, but one recent addition is raising the eyebrows of a number of grassroots conservatives.
Eric Hollander is a South Carolina native and, according to his Twitter bio, a “GOP operative in hot pursuit of trying to live up to my true potential. Sports enthusiast, jetsetter, thalassophile & proud UNCW alum.”
He worked as deputy state director for South Carolina on Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign and was later promoted to head the Illinois operation. Eventual Republican nominee and current president Donald Trump won a plurality in each contest, but sources close to the campaign argue that Hollander worked hard for Cruz and acquitted himself well.
After Cruz suspended his presidential campaign, Hollander got a job on the campaign of John Brunner who was running for governor in Missouri as a Republican. Brunner lost to eventual nominee Eric Grietens.
Hollander recently came to Texas where sources say he worked the 2018 Republican primary for a number of clients for the establishment-favored Murphy Nasica consulting firm. He reportedly worked on the campaigns of:
- Brad Perry who ran unsuccessfully against Deanna Metzger
- Charles Lauersdorf who ran unsuccessfully against Jonathan Boos
- State Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale) in her unsuccessful campaign against State Sen. Bob Hall (R-Canton).
Hall, Metzger, and Boos were all strongly supported by conservatives.
The battle between Burkett and Hall was one of the nastiest races of the election cycle, with Burkett’s campaign twisting the decades old words of Hall’s ex-wife to accuse him of domestic violence. It’s Hollander’s work on that campaign, especially, that is rankling conservatives the most.
“Eric told me point blank at the polls, ‘I love what we did with the wife beater hit’” said Karin Dyer, a campaign staffer who worked to advance conservative candidates across the state. “The man constantly complained about the conservative movement in Texas and handed out Cindy Burkett literature at the polls.”
Jackie Schlegel, the founder of Texans for Vaccine Choice who volunteered for Hall’s campaign, corroborated Dyer’s account.
“It was clear to all those campaigning for Bob Hall that Eric Hollander was working with Murphy Nasica for Cindy Burkett,” Schlegel told Texas Scorecard. “While campaigning on primary Election Day, Eric Hollander continually heckled those working for conservative campaigns and voiced his frustration with ‘right wingers in this state.’ He was confident the liberal establishment was going to defeat Bob Hall.”
Given four days to comment on the issue, Cruz’s political strategist Jeff Roe declined to provide Texas Scorecard with clarifying information or comment.