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After Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced he would not seek re-election, Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement praising the disgraced speaker.

Bonnen’s announcement came amidst growing calls from Republican members for him to step down after an audio recording of a meeting with Empower Texans CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan revealed he attempted to make a quid pro quo offer of press credentials in exchange for the political targeting of certain Republican members.

But Abbott’s statement alludes to none of that and, instead, celebrates Bonnen for representing his district “with an unparalleled passion and vigor” and for “his commitment to making Texas a better state.”

Abbott also pivots to the 2020 election, saying, “All Republican House members have a list of accolades that makes them each worth of re-election” and that he would campaign with each of them, a far cry from just two years ago when he endorsed against some Republican members, including the pro-abortion State Rep. Sarah Davis (West University Place).

Abbott’s full statement can be read below:

I thank Speaker Bonnen for working with me this session to cut property taxes, to pass the Born Alive Act, to fund border security, to pass ten laws expanding Second Amendment rights, to protect individual liberty by banning red light cameras, to protect free speech on college campuses, to protect religious freedoms, and to put on the ballot this November the ability to permanently ban a state income tax. Before becoming Speaker, Dennis Bonnen represented his district for over two decades with an unparalleled passion and vigor. I applaud Speaker Bonnen for his commitment to making Texas a better state, and Cecelia and I wish him, Kim, and his entire family all the best in the future. 

Looking ahead to 2020, the Republican Party of Texas must unite and work together to retain a majority in the Texas House. To that cause, I am redoubling my efforts to ensure we achieve that goal. All Republican House members have a list of accolades that makes them worthy of re-election, and I will work with each of them to tell that story to voters in their district. With hard work and leadership, we will ensure they have the resources to win in 2020 and return next session to continue to build upon our conservative successes.