In a tweet and email sent last week, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan commended the hard work of Republican candidates and patted himself on the back for supporting incumbents across the state. A campaign announcement attached to the tweet listed the Republican primary victories but left out State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City) of House District 2.

Slaton, who refused to vote for Phelan in the House speaker race last year, tweeted this response:

Slaton’s attempt to ban child gender mutilation last session was repeatedly thwarted, as Phelan and his lieutenants rejected all attempts to ban the practice.

Phelan, a former legislative staffer turned politician, was a top lieutenant of disgraced former House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. During his campaign for House speaker, Phelan courted the Democrat vote, which former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West said made Phelan a “political traitor.”

As the speaker of the House determines the House committee compositions, Phelan has appointed Democrats to key committee chair positions. Now, the practice has come under fire from conservative activists and voters due to the ability of committee chairs to kill legislation relating to conservative priorities.

Slaton recently called out his fellow Republican lawmakers, including Phelan, for the practice, stating, “I just feel like we’re setting ourselves up to lose, almost like we’re tying one arm behind our backs and then wondering why we can’t beat [them] in the boxing match.”

Republican House leadership now shunning one of the most vocal advocates for Republican priorities could spell trouble for them in the next session.

On the first day of the 88th Texas Legislature, January 10, 2023, a new vote will be cast for House speaker.

Dade Phelan’s office did not respond to Texas Scorecard‘s request for comment before publication.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.