One member of the Texas Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers who made waves during the recent session, will not be rejoining the group when the legislature reconvenes in January.
Before the House Republican Caucus met this weekend to officially nominate State Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R–Angleton) as the Republican nominee for Speaker of the Texas House, State Rep. Jeff Leach (R–Plano) sent a text message to his colleagues announcing his decision:
My friends – I write you this message with a deep sense of love and respect for each of you. Over the past two years, since the Freedom Caucus was launched, we have banded together in some monumental legislative efforts and, against incredible odds, we have delivered tremendous victories for our beloved State of Texas. It has truly been my honor and blessing to be a founding member of the Freedom Caucus along with each of you.
Every session presents new challenges and new opportunities. While our convictions should never be compromised, our core values should not change and our individual and collective commitment to the cause of liberty should not waver, there comes a time when each of us, individually, must deliberate and prayerfully determine the best methods and strategies to ensure our effectiveness for the people we are elected to serve. To that end, I’ve decided that I want to recommit myself entirely to the House Republican Caucus – to working diligently with all of our fellow Republicans in the House to ensure that, as a GOP Caucus, we stay focused and make great strides on the pressing issues that our voters, including our grassroots, want us to be focused on. I am more passionate than I ever have been to continue fighting for tax relief, for the sanctity of life, for education, for transparency and accountability, for criminal justice reform, for ethics reforms, and for the rule of law and our beloved Constitution. Going in to next session, however, I feel that my time, talent and treasure is best devoted to fighting for those things within the Republican Caucus. To that end, after much prayer and careful consideration, I owe it to each of you to let you know that I will no longer be a member of the Freedom Caucus.
My hope is that this will not, in any way, affect our ability to work together, to meet together, to communicate and strategize together, to vote together and, importantly, to PRAY together. We can continue to do those things. And we MUST continue to do those things. Not just for our own benefit. But for the benefit of the people of Texas.
I love each of you. And I couldn’t be more excited about what’s in store for the 86th Legislative Session.