Despite facing a contentious primary election of his own, Gov. Greg Abbott is wading into other races, endorsing some incumbent lawmakers who are facing challenges from the right.
On Tuesday, Abbott continued the streak by endorsing State Rep. Kyle Kacal (R–College Station), the most liberal Republican in the Texas House.
First elected to the Texas House in 2012, Kacal has opposed conservative reforms and sided with Democrats to grow government.
After the most recent legislative session, Kacal earned a dismal rating of 28 on the Fiscal Responsibility Index—giving him the lowest score of any Republican in the chamber—in part for his votes to expand corporate welfare and allowing Democrats to chair key committees.
Likewise, Kacal was ranked at the bottom of Republicans in the Young Conservatives of Texas’ legislative ratings.
During the 87th regular legislative session, Kacal was among six other Republican lawmakers who joined with Democrats to author legislation seeking to expand Medicaid in Texas, the opposite of what his own party platform calls for.
Kacal was also one of a handful of Republicans who voted with Democrats to reject a proposal to ban mask mandates as the Texas Pandemic Response Act was being debated in the House of Representatives.
And when Democrats fled for Washington, D.C., to break quorum last year, Kacal immediately called for compromise, saying Democrats should be given “a victory or two.”
In his endorsement, however, Abbott claimed Kacal had “a long record of fighting for conservative principles.”
Kacal is being challenged in the Republican primary by Ben Bius and Joshua Hamm.
Early voting begins on February 14. Election Day is March 1.