One Republican lawmaker has made clear his allegiance to liberal labor unions and their Democrat candidates.

In Houston this weekend, “Texans for Public Education” held a small rally in Houston to protest conservative statewide leaders Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. The anti-school choice group is attempting to convince Texas educators to “block vote” for “pro-education” candidates (Democrats and liberal Republicans).

The event, unsurprisingly, featured liberal speakers, like Austin Democrat lawmaker. Donna Howard and Texas Democrats’ nominee for Lt. Governor, Mike Collier.

Also featured at the Democrat jamboree? Republican State Rep. Ernest Bailes (Shepherd).

Howard, his Democrat colleague, posted a picture of the two together on Twitter, along with the hashtag “#blockvote” shortly before Bailes took the stage.

In the picture, Bailes can be seen sporting a purple shirt, per organizers’ instructions to combat Texas Republicans’ “Keep Texas Red” campaign by literally donning the color to show Abbott and Patrick educators would “turn Texas purple.”

Bailes underscored this message by telling attendees to “look beyond party” before imploring them to go vote. 

Collier and other Democrats railed against conservative leadership in Texas in their speeches to the crowd, and the signs distributed throughout the crowd were imploring attendees to get to the polls and vote out Republican leaders in November.

Also making an appearance on the stage was Scott Milder. Despite liberal “pro-education” advocates’ push for his campaign against Dan Patrick in the Republican primary, Milder failed to get even a quarter of the vote. Immediately after his embarrassing loss, Milder endorsed liberal Democrat Collier for the general election.

Far from exhibiting a moderate stance, Milder refers to Patrick as “El Diablo” or “the devil”.

While the event was presented as a grassroots effort, signs adorning the stage and throughout the crowd showed the Texas American Federation of Teachers, the largest public sector union in the state, was unsurprisingly the force behind the Democrat pep rally.

The Texas chapter of the AFL-CIO, the largest labor union in the nation and a big source of campaign cash for Democrats, confirmed the rally was union-led, referring to the event as the “#TXAFT rally” on Twitter.

Bailes’ support of the event is in clear violation of the promises he made to voters during his recent primary election. Indeed, on his campaign literature and website, Bailes tells his constituents he is a conservative and supporter of traditional conservative issues.

His dismal record from his freshman year, however, tells a different story, with Bailes earning a 42 on the Fiscal Responsibility Index.

Bailes’ constituents must ask themselves why the self-proclaimed “conservative” joined Democrats this weekend to rally against the state’s Republican leadership.

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