While conservative activists are pressuring lawmakers in the Texas Capitol to pass the legislative priorities of the Republican Party of Texas, State Rep. James Frank (R–Wichita Falls) says it’s not the job of the party to dictate what the Legislature should prioritize.
At the Republican Party of Texas Convention in June, more than 5,000 delegates from across the state gathered to determine the party priorities and platform for the next two years.
These eight legislative priorities are meant to serve as directives for lawmakers on what party members would like to see accomplished during the 140-day legislative session, including issues like election integrity, ending the sexualization of children, protecting the border, and ending child gender mutilation.
State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington), who is challenging current house Speaker Dade Phelan, has made that a centerpiece of his campaign, recently saying in an interview on The Salcedo Storm, “I think it’s important that every Republican go down to Austin and not try to create their own priorities, but to do what the Republican Party has asked us and what Texas voters have asked for us to do.”
Taking to Twitter over the weekend, Frank said he disagrees with this assertion.
“Whose job is it to decide legislative priorities? It is the elected representative’s job based on direct feedback from constituents,” said Frank, adding that this was why the House Republican Caucus endorsed Phelan in a secret vote of 78-6.
Whose job is it to decide legislative priorities?
It is the elected representative’s job based on direct feedback from constituents.
— James Frank (@RepJamesFrank) December 4, 2022
Frank later said the priorities were important but should not outweigh the desire of people in his district. Meanwhile, 82 percent of Republican voters in his Wichita County approved a March ballot proposition stating that Democrats should not be given chairmanships in the Legislature. Phelan, however, has embraced this practice and scoffed at suggestions that it should be changed.
Additionally, 94 percent said they support ending child gender mutilation, while 89 percent said they support school choice.
As of publication, Frank did not respond to an inquiry from Texas Scorecard as to which, if any, of the party’s eight legislative priorities were not also his own.