Republican primary voters in Dallas have booted their abrasive, liberal-voting State Rep. Jason Villalba in favor of conservative businesswoman Lisa Luby Ryan.
Ryan won Tuesday’s GOP primary in Texas House District 114 with 53 percent of the vote, defeating insider incumbent Villalba.
“The voters I’ve talked to want a conservative representing them in Austin, and they know they haven’t been getting one in Jason Villalba,” Ryan told Texas Scorecard in January. “I will be that conservative representative. I will be the Reagan Republican that [Jason Villalba] claims to be.”
Villalba is one of the lowest-scoring Republicans on the Fiscal Responsibility Index. Since joining the legislature in 2012, he’s earned a career “F” rating. He scored a failing grade of 43 in 2017 – below the overall House average of 47.
Villalba’s habit of constantly changing his policy positions may have hurt him with primary voters as much as his dismal legislative record. On issue after issue he took a liberal stance, reversed position when faced with backlash, then ultimately voted for his original liberal position alongside Democrats. Questioned at a February 13 candidate forum about his voting record, Villalba proudly declared, “Do I vote with Democrats? You’re damn right I do!”
Villalba is also notorious for his vitriolic Twitter rants, which even he’s acknowledged are “inappropriate” and “beneath the dignity of the office” of a state legislator.
The insulting tweet that prompted Villalba’s apology was aimed at Aaron Harris of Direct Action Texas. Another attacked Empower Texans’ Metroplex Bureau Chief Ross Kecseg. Villalba also called the Texas House’s conservative Freedom Caucus members “idiot pirates” and “jackasses.”

Villalba insulted his primary opponent via Twitter as well, but Tuesday night managed a gracious concession tweet to Ryan.

Ryan earned endorsements from Texans For Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Right to Life, Texas Values Action, Young Conservatives of Texas, and many other conservative organizations. And ultimately, she earned the endorsement of HD 114 voters.
“We did this; we won,” Ryan said Tuesday night after the race was called. “It’s a big deal to beat a three-time incumbent who’s running for a fourth time.”
“I’m humbled. I’m honored and so excited,” she added. “I’m ready to get out there for November.”
Ryan will face Democrat John Turner in the November general election.

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.


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