The state’s largest labor union has released their endorsements for the 2018 election cycle, which included support for three Republican state lawmakers.
The Texas chapter of the AFL-CIO’s slate of supported candidates predominantly features Democrat candidates. Turning heads is the inclusion of three Republican lawmakers: Republican State Reps. James White of Lumberton, Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi, and Wayne Faircloth of Dickinson.
In the release of their endorsements, Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levey commented on the organization’s legislative endorsement process, saying “Our affiliates have carefully vetted candidates and endorsed, by at least two-thirds vote, those they believe will build a better Texas for working families.”
Given the liberal legislative priorities of the AFL-CIO, it’s difficult to imagine why any Republican legislator would want to receive the endorsement of the primarily pro-Democrat labor union.
In the group’s endorsement questionnaire for the 2016 election cycle, candidates were asked if they supported raising the minimum wage, school choice, and even continuing in-state tuition for illegal aliens.
White, who chairs the Texas House Corrections Committee, served his first term in 2011 and performed admirably for taxpayers, earning the distinction of “Taxpayer Champion.” Since then, White has disappointed conservatives by cozying up to House leadership. On the most recent Fiscal Responsibility Index, White earned a failing grade of 68.
Hunter has chaired the influential Texas House Calendars Committee under outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus, serving as the gatekeeper preventing conservative legislation from reaching the floor for a vote. Hunter often killed bills at the behest of the lawmakers who authored them, a fact he admitted to during the rules debate last session. 
Faircloth’s inclusion on the endorsement list is the most noteworthy, however. Unlike White and Hunter, Faircloth is facing opposition in the Republican primary next month in conservative businessman Mayes Middleton. Middleton has received the endorsements of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Right to Life, and Gov. Greg Abbott.
Middleton commented on Faircloth’s approval by labor unions, stating “This is just another example of where Wayne has lost touch with conservative values and aligning himself with liberal democrats.”
Texas Scorecard has reached out to Faircloth’s campaign for comment but has not received a response as of publishing. This article will be updated should any response be received.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens