A busload of North Texas conservative activists is heading to the state House district of Speaker Dade Phelan this weekend to campaign for his Republican primary rival David Covey.

The activists are among Republicans from across the state who are working to defeat Phelan in House District 21—which covers Orange, Jasper, and Jefferson counties—to ensure he cannot serve a third term as speaker of the Texas House.

Grassroots Republicans are disgusted with Phelan’s legislative leadership for everything from empowering Democrats with House committee chair positions to overseeing the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Last weekend, members of the Republican Party of Texas’ governing body censured Phelan, following earlier censures by the Orange and Jasper County GOP executive committees.

A state party censure strips RPT financial support from Phelan’s campaign and opens the door to the party campaigning against him.

Frisco pastor and conservative leader Brandon Burden organized this weekend’s trip to Phelan’s district through his political action committee North Texas Conservatives, which was recently rebranded as Texas Conservatives.

Activities include a bus trip to Port Arthur and block-walking for Covey on Friday, as well as a rally with Covey Saturday morning at Life Church before the bus returns to Frisco.

In addition, several activists are driving to East Texas and will stay to block walk Saturday with Covey’s campaign volunteers.

Burden, who authored the recently released book Daniel Nation, believes Christians should be actively engaged in civil government at all levels.

During the 2023 legislative session, Burden’s group organized multiple bus trips that took hundreds of activists to the Texas Capitol to advocate for conservative priorities.

For him and others, advocating for new leadership in the Texas House is the next logical step.

“Dade Phelan showed his true colors in the 88th Legislature when he impeached Ken Paxton, the most conservative attorney general in our state’s history, without a shred of evidence,” Burden told Texas Scorecard. “Now it’s time to retire Dade Phelan and hire David Covey as our next representative in HD 21.”

Covey formerly served as chairman of the Orange County Republican Party and is Phelan’s top primary rival. Alicia Davis is also running for Phelan’s seat.

Covey is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, and Paxton.

Early voting in the March 5 primary election starts February 20.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.