After Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and several Republican lawmakers have asked Gov. Greg Abbott to call the Legislature back for a special session to address conservative priorities killed in the Texas House, Abbott’s challengers are weighing in.

Patrick made his request on Wednesday after the Texas House killed legislation to ban taxpayer-funded lobbying by cities and counties, protect girls’ sports, and tamp down on social media censorship. 

Abbott has so far declined to indicate whether he will call a special session over those issues, instead saying the Legislature still has time left, despite the fact that important calendar deadlines for both chambers to approve legislation have already passed.

Former State Sen. Don Huffines, who announced earlier this month his campaign to oust Abbott in the Republican primary, expressed his desire for a special session.

“Once again, Texans were failed by cowards in Austin. Republican politicians, despite having trifecta control in Texas, worked with Democrats to kill a number of key GOP bills. I support calls for an imminent special session and believe we must pass every GOP priority, finish building Donald Trump’s border wall, and put Texas on a pathway to eliminating property taxes,” said Huffines.

“Texas conservatives have made their priorities clear, but these priorities continue to be met with inaction and excuses,” Huffines continued. “Texans cannot afford to wait any longer for results on top GOP issues including building the border wall, phasing out property taxes, protecting girls’ sports, banning sex-change surgery and destructive therapies on children, ending taxpayer-funded lobbying, stopping social media censorship, and protecting our historical monuments. We haven’t even discussed term limits, either. The primary reason these bills have not been passed is because Abbott won’t support them. Texans deserve leadership—no excuses.”

Media personality and humorist Chad Prather, who announced his intention to run against Abbott last summer, agreed that action must be taken.

“When it comes to convictions and values, you have to take any available legal means necessary to get these issues heard and voted on. We can’t continue to push these things down the line and shirk responsibility. Our legislators are in Austin for a reason. Let’s get the job done,” Prather told Texas Scorecard.

“Remember the bigger picture. We’ve watched bills be killed, stalled, delayed. And now, if we go into a special session, the agenda is that of the governor’s alone. The bills that the people want addressed will only be there at his sole consent. The business of the people MUST be finished. Texas cannot wait another two years to protect our children, ensure election integrity, get property tax relief, and secure the elimination of taxpayer-funded lobbyists,” he added.

The regular legislative session ends on Monday, May 31. As governor, Abbott has the authority to call 30-day special sessions focused on whichever legislative priorities he sees fit.

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