Democrat committee chairs have had a pattern of killing conservative legislation in Texas. Now, the movement to stop the practice is growing.
Earlier this month, infuriated Republican voters overwhelmingly supported GOP Ballot Proposition 6, which stated, “The Republican-controlled Texas Legislature should end the practice of awarding committee chairmanships to Democrats.”
The result was 81 percent of Republican voters calling for an end to the practice, but will the Republican-led Legislature listen?
Texas Scorecard contacted all of the Republican candidates running for the state Legislature in runoff elections to ask where they stood on Democrats being placed in leadership positions and whether the process should continue.
Senate District 24
Raul Reyes: “I fully support ending the practice of granting committee chairmanships to Democrats. We are the majority party and it is imperative we remove all obstacles in order to fulfill the will of Republicans. As candidate for the Texas Senate and as future Senator, I have and will continue to call for the resignation of any party leader that allows this ill-conceived practice to continue. Overwhelmingly, conservative Texans have spoken: they want the implementation of our Legislative Priorities! Political games, played by the likes of Dade Phelan and a few others, are hampering those efforts. We cannot allow them to continue risking our future and the quality of life in Texas.”
Pete Flores did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 12
Neither Kyle Kacal nor Ben Bius responded to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 17
Paul Pape: “I would strongly prefer that a Republican Speaker appoint Republican members as Committee chairs. I will support that. I know that some Democrat Representatives are good people and good legislators. However, the folks who elected them to the House expect and demand allegiance to a very liberal agenda. Their service as a committee Chair must be swayed by that expectation, which can result in no action being taken on proposed legislation that is important to the majority of Texas. Let’s go further. Since the Speaker has to choose Chairs from the members, this practice may indicate that the pickings are slim. I will make every effort to be the kind of Republican legislator whom the Speaker can trust with a Committee. The solution is to have so many great Rs ready and willing to serve as Chairs that the Speaker has plenty to choose from. That’s a long answer to a short question, but solutions take a little explaining.”
Stan Gerdes did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 19
Ellen Troxclair: “Yes, I will support ending the practice of giving committee chairmanships to Democrats.”
Justin Berry did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 23
Terri Leo-Wilson: “Yes, I support ending this practice.”
Patrick Gurski did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 52
Caroline Harris: “Yes, I would support ending the practice of giving Democrats committee chairmanships.”
Patrick McGuiness’ spokesman: “Patrick McGuinness does not support the practice of Republican leadership of the Texas House awarding chairmanships to Democrat members.”
House District 60
Mike Olcott: “I support ending the practice giving committee chairmanships to Democrats.”
Glenn Rogers did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 61
Paul Chabot: “I am on record against Dems as Committee Chairs. Yes, I support ending the practice. As you may already know, this is a distinction in my race. My opponent, who I will face in the GOP run-off is on record (video) stating he supports placing Dems as Committee Chairs.”
Frederick Frazier did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 63
Jeff Younger: “I totally reject Democrat control of any instrument of political power, including committees in the Legislature. Republicans have failed to use political power in service to their conservative constituency. Republican leaders in both houses of the Legislature use the committee process to kill conservative bills and blame it on the Democrats. That must stop. If any conservative bill dies in a Democrat-controlled committee, it’s the fault of Republican leadership. No more excuses.”
Ben Bumgarner:” I support ending the practice of giving committee chairmanships to Democrats. Democrat House members fled the state last year, yet continue to claim we should give them positions of power and influence. There are many issues where bipartisan experience and cooperation are important, but Democrat members should never lead committees that control our Second Amendment rights, the right to life, or any of our conservative Republican priorities.”
House District 70
Eric Bowlin: “I am totally opposed to awarding committee chairmanships to Democrats. Republican voters trust that their representatives will pass the legislative priorities the party has set forth and pass conservative legislation to improve Texas, such as banning taxpayer-funded lobbying, delivering further property tax relief and reform and securing the border. Democrats in Austin have shown they will not pass these types of bills and do not share our conservative values. If they will stand in the way of our legislative priorities, then why would we reward them by putting them in positions of power on House committees? As long as Republicans have the majority, no Democrat should be chairing a legislative committee. Period. End of story.”
Jamee Jolly did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 73
Carrie Isaac: “Yes, I support ending this practice.”
Barron Casteel did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 84
Neither David Glasheen nor Carl Tepper responded to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 85
Phil Stephenson’s spokesman: “Absolutely. In the 87R, when the House was voting on House Rules, Phil was one of only five who voted for an amendment that would do just that. His position hasn’t changed in the past year. He advocated for this prior to last session, speaking out fervently against enfranchising the Democrats at House Republican Caucus meetings. I don’t know how much more proof of his position one needs.”
Stan Kitzman did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 91
David Lowe: “I would absolutely vote to end the practice of democrats being committee chairs when republicans have the majority. It’s a disgrace that the majority party surrenders its power to the minority.”
Stephanie Klick did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 93
Nate Schatzline: “I would absolutely support ending that practice. There is no reason for GOP lawmakers to surrender committee chairmanships to Democrat lawmakers. As a conservative and as an elected official within the Republican Party, I have a duty to my state and to my constituents to ensure that I accomplish exactly what I have promised. It is counterproductive to allow Democrats to be committee chairs. I will not forfeit these positions just to have Republican bills killed in committee.”
Laura Hill did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 122
Mark Dorazio spokesman: “Mark Dorazio is absolutely against giving committee chairmanships to Democrats.”
Elisa Chan did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.
House District 133
Neither Shelley Torian Barineau nor Mano DeAyala responded to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.