Today, the liberal Texas Association of Business released their 2018 endorsements and, in a list that typically shuns conservative lawmakers, the endorsement of Angela Paxton in Senate District 8 is raising eyebrows.
While conservatives rallied for tax reform, lessening burdensome regulations on businesses, and fiscal responsibility at the state level, TAB spent the last regular and special session battling against efforts like ending in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and banning sanctuary cities. Most notably, TAB was seen leading the opposition against the Texas Privacy Act, a bill designed to prevent local governments from forcing businesses to allow men into women’s showers, locker rooms, and restrooms. After the 85th Legislative Session, leaked documents revealed TAB received $130,000 of its $200,000 budget from national LGBT groups.
TAB’s endorsement list notably excludes conservative members of the legislature, including the entire Freedom Caucus, with the organization instead electing to endorse two of their challengers – Jim Largent and Dave Campbell.
After Texas Scorecard asked Paxton if she planned on rejecting the group’s endorsement, her campaign gave the following statement:
Unlike our opponent, we did not seek this endorsement, in fact Mr. Huffines was very upset he didn’t receive TAB’s endorsement; perhaps they learned of Mr. Huffines’ previous campaign donations to liberal Democrats.
Phillip Huffines, Paxton’s opponent in the primary race, gave the following response to the accusations from Paxton:
I am not at all upset Angela Paxton got the endorsement of TAB. This organization has embarrassed themselves in recent years, bending over backwards to radical leftists and opposing conservatives like Gov. Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick over Sanctuary Cities and the Texas Privacy Act. I met with TAB board members to discuss issues facing our state, just like I have with dozens of organizations who agree and disagree with my principles. It was my strong stance in support of the Texas Privacy Act and banning Sanctuary Cities that made our conversations an obvious non-starter. I will never compromise on these important issues and if that means not having the support of TAB and other left leaning organizations, so be it.
Furthermore, I’ll note TAB has neglected to support NONE of the strong conservatives in the Freedom Caucus and all-star Senators like Konni Burton and my brother Don Huffines. I hope Angela immediately abandons the support of an organization that has showed itself to be deeply out of step with Texas Republicans.
Texas Scorecard previously reported on the TAB scorecard and examined, in depth, the collection of farcical “pro-business” votes it is based on. Such nonsensical scoring resulted in State Rep. Oscar Longoria (D–Mission) receiving the top “pro-business” rating in the state, illustrating that their ideal legislator… is a liberal Democrat.
Paxton and Huffines are in the race to succeed State Sen. Van Taylor (R–Plano) who is running for Congress.