Four lawmakers have been officially censured by the House Republican Caucus for campaigning for conservative challengers against incumbents during the recent primary elections.

Caucus rules prohibit members from endorsing against incumbents in what has been referred to as the “Incumbent Protection Program.”

This cycle, however, conservative incumbent State Reps. Brian Harrison, Nate Schatzline, Steve Toth, and Tony Tinderholt joined statewide Republicans like Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in endorsing against liberal Republicans in an election cycle that saw the defeat of 15 incumbent Republicans.

Last week, the group went public with plans by the caucus to consider expelling the members for their endorsements after a report was filed by outgoing State Rep. Glenn Rogers, who was defeated by Mike Olcott in March.

Late Monday evening it was revealed that the caucus’ executive committee dispensed with a potential expulsion and instead issued a formal censure of their conduct “in the strongest terms.”

“As officers selected by our Republican House colleagues, we have the utmost respect for our bylaws and the processes laid out in them. While we have been asked to ignore or refuse to complete an investigation or determine a curative action, our bylaws compel us to address these violations,” the censure reads.

“These sections of the bylaws were adopted in 2019 as a method of eliminating discord and promoting solidarity. You may wish to disregard them, but it is our responsibility as officers to carry them out to the best of our abilities and enforce them when necessary. There were certainly punishments that would have been more severe and, while we believe your actions warrant those, we recognize it is in the best interest of the Caucus to come together and move past your efforts to divide us.”

The censure was signed by the executive committee, which consists of State Reps. Tom Oliverson, Lacey Hull, Shelby Slawson, Jacey Jetton, and Jared Patterson.

In response, the four lawmakers stated they would have “happily been expelled from the Texas House GOP Caucus, which worked with Democrats to help re-elect liberal Speaker Dade Phelan.”

We are proud to have helped many true conservatives join the Texas House; something we will continue to do, regardless of any absurd caucus rules designed to protect the uniparty swamp.
At a time when Republicans should be unifying against Democrats, the Caucus is divisively punishing conservatives.
Despite this action, we will continue fighting for Republicans in November… and for LIBERTY!

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