With State Rep. Justin Holland failing to earn the support of a majority of Republican voters in the primary election this week, Gov. Greg Abbott is endorsing his opponent in the upcoming runoff.

Holland, a Republican from Heath, received 38.8 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, well short of the majority needed to win the nomination. Former Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson earned even more votes, taking top place with 39.4 percent.

While Abbott had stayed out of the race in the primary, he endorsed some of the other Republicans who, like Holland, joined with Democrats to kill school choice—his top legislative priority. With the race headed into overtime, however, Abbott has gotten off the sidelines to lend his support to Pierson.

“Katrina Pierson is a proven, battle-tested conservative who will never stop fighting for the conservative values that help make Texas the land of freedom and opportunity,” said Abbott. “I know Katrina will work with me to secure our border and put Texas on a pathway to eliminate property taxes for all Texans. I am proud to support Katrina, who stands with the majority of Texans in supporting education freedom for every Texas family. I urge Texans in House District 33 to join me in supporting Katrina Pierson for State Representative.”

Pierson responded by thanking the governor for his support, adding she looks forward to working with him to “stop the invasion, phase out property taxes, and empower Texas parents with education freedom.”

Abbott was quickly followed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in endorsing Pierson, who had already earned the support of Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

Holland did not respond to a request for comment.

The runoff election will take place on May 28.

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