With discussions swirling in the Republican Party of Texas about Democrat interference in Republican primaries, embattled incumbent State Rep. John Kuempel may be among those benefiting from Democrat support to hold onto power.

After coming in second place to Alan Schoolcraft—a former lawmaker—in the Republican primary last month, Kuempel has an uphill battle in his re-election campaign. Schoolcraft has already earned the endorsements of Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, and others. 

An examination of voters in the March Republican primary reveals that five percent had a previous Democrat voting history. For context, Schoolcraft narrowly missed the opportunity to win that election outright by less than two points. 

Adding fuel to that fire are pictures of Democrat operative Ramon Chapa Jr. showing his support for Kuempel. Chapa serves as the Director of Community Engagement for Democrat Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert and has worked for other Democrats in the past, including U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro and State Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins. 

In a social media post, Chapa shared a photo of him and Kuempel, saying, “It is without reservation that I support and endorse my friend, State Rep. John Kuempel District 44 for Re-election!”

As of publishing, Kuempel did not respond to a request for comment on whether his campaign is actively courting Democrat voters.

A new push from the Republican Party of Texas, however, could see Democrat interference in Republican primary elections significantly curtailed. 

Last week, Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi announced the creation of a workgroup that will explore options over the next several weeks to close the Republican primary with or without approval from the state legislature, a move that nearly 73 percent of Republican voters say they agree with.

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