Last week, Texas Scorecard reported that the LIBRE Initiative—a pro-amnesty political organization—endorsed a slate of Republican candidates for the Texas Legislature.

Now, just days later, some of those candidates are coming out and rejecting the endorsement.

The LIBRE Initiative and its partner organization Americans for Prosperity are heavily funded by the Koch network, which has repeatedly led “immigration reform” efforts in Washington, D.C., including granting permanent legal status for those in the country illegally.

In their announcement, AFP and LIBRE said they were “committed to seeing policy changes throughout Texas and are willing to spend up to $1M to ensure these candidates clear their primaries in March.”

The first round of the organization’s Texas endorsements were granted to Adam Blanchard (HD-122), Pete Flores (SD-24), Laura Hill (HD-93), State Rep. Mayes Middleton (SD-11), Hayden Padgett (HD-70), State Rep. Tan Parker (SD-12), and Kronda Thimesch (HD-65).

On Monday, former State Sen. Pete Flores, who is campaigning to return to the Legislature, released a statement saying the endorsement came as a surprise to him.

“I did not solicit the endorsement. I do not want the endorsement. I will not accept the endorsement. I reject it,” said Flores. “I have a long track record of fighting against any effort to grant amnesty to those who entered America illegally. I oppose any effort to establish programs that create shortcuts or allow certain people to jump to the head of the line.”

“I support legal immigration and welcome individuals to share in the American  Dream. The door is, however, only open to those who follow the law,” Flores added.

Soon Flores was joined by State Rep. Mayes Middleton, who is seeking a promotion to the Texas Senate, who also said he did not seek their endorsement and did not accept it.  

“While serving as the Texas House Freedom Caucus chairman, I fought to triple border security and believe we can do more, including finishing President Trump’s wall,” said Middleton.

State Rep. Tan Parker, who is also campaigning to move to the Senate, also released a statement saying he was surprised by the endorsement, adding that he “completely and unequivocally” rejected it.

“The LIBRE Initiative has made clear where they stand on the issue of amnesty and illegal immigration, and we are not in agreement. I believe in the American Dream, and I fully support anyone who comes to this country legally, to achieve this dream. Any attempt to grant amnesty is in direct violation of my core conservative values,” said Parker.

As of publishing, fellow candidates Adam Blanchard, Laura Hill, Hayden Padgett, and Kronda Thimesch have yet to reject the LIBRE Initiative’s endorsement.

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