Republican Party of Texas Chairman Allen West is not standing idly by when it comes to the Texas House speaker race, calling front-runner State Rep. Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont) a “political traitor” for courting support from liberal Democrats.
Last week, Phelan shot to front-runner status in the race after announcing he had bipartisan support from Republican and Democrat members of the legislature. In a brief address on Wednesday, Phelan declared victory, saying the race was “over.”
In his weekly email, Texas GOP Chairman Allen West called the move “idiotic” and made it clear the party would not support Phelan:
Texas will not allow the undermining of our “Texas Republic.” This is why the Republican Party of Texas is perplexed, and will not support, a potential Texas Speaker of the House who would seek affirmation from progressive socialist Democrats to attain that position. It is utterly absurd and demonstrably idiotic that any Republican would join with Democrats to lead our Republican majority (83-67) Texas State House. Does anyone believe that Texas Democrats will support the Republican Party of Texas legislative priority of election integrity?
Therefore, let me clearly state this: the Republican Party of Texas will not support, nor accept, State Rep. Dade Phelan as Speaker of the Texas House. Texas does not need a Republican political traitor, not at a time when the two diverging philosophies of governance are this lucid.
The Republican Party of Texas will not sit back idly and watch leftist Democrats be placed as Committee Chairmen who will undermine, kill, our legislative priorities, as happened in the 86th Texas legislative session.
Texas will be led by Constitutional Conservatives, not middle of the road “road kill” individuals seeking alliance with Marxist, socialist, leftists. We fought hard in the 2020 election cycle — against massive odds and leftist resources — to retain a strong legislative majority.
Phelan’s candidacy has been met with serious opposition among conservatives over his record during his time in the legislature. As chair of the House State Affairs Committee, Phelan gutted legislation that would have protected small businesses from onerous local mandates. He was one of only three Texas House Republicans to receive a positive grade from Equality Texas, a pro-LGBT advocacy organization.
The official vote for speaker will take place shortly after the new legislature is sworn in on January 12, 2021.