A member of the State Republican Executive Committee is drawing condemnation from Republican Party of Texas Chairman Allen West and others after publicly endorsing a Democrat for the state legislature.
Consisting of one man and one woman from each of the state’s 31 Senate districts, the SREC is essentially the governing body of the Republican Party of Texas, meeting several times a year to do the party’s business, such as organizing convention and passing resolutions.
Dr. Alma Arredondo-Lynch was elected in July by convention delegates to serve as the committeewoman for Senate District 19, replacing Marian Knowlton, who is currently running as the Republican nominee for House District 31 against Democrat State Rep. Ryan Guillen in the Rio Grande Valley.
Arredondo-Lynch, however, has opted against endorsing her predecessor and instead is putting her support behind the Democrat.
“Ryan Guillen fits the Demograghics [sic] for this area. He speaks, writes and understands the language,” Arredondo-Lynch wrote in a Facebook post expressing her endorsement.
In a conversation with Texas Scorecard, Arredondo-Lynch pointed towards Guillen’s endorsement by the Texas Oil and Gas Association and agriculture associations to justify her support, as well as Guillen’s overall knowledge of the South Texas district.
“I went to school with his mother, with Ryan Guillen’s mom,” she said. “Our roots go way, way beyond just now that I’ve endorsed him.”
“As far as the other SREC members: If they were wise, they should look at what’s good for their district. They don’t know what’s good for their district. I do. And I don’t think I should be penalized or scrutinized because I endorsed a person who has the letter ‘D.’”
Republican Party of Texas Chairman Allen West, however, disagrees.
“I find it unconscionable, and irresponsible, that a member of our Texas State Republican Executive Committee would publicly endorse a Democrat candidate for our Texas State House at a time when we fight to retain and possibly expand our Republican Majority,” West said in an email to SREC members on Monday.
“This action, which I condemn, is in violation of our SREC Bylaws and will be adjudicated accordingly,” he added.
Republican candidate Marian Knowlton echoed West’s message, saying Republicans need to work together.
“We South Texas Republicans need all the support we can get from the party, and having people rowing the opposite way is detrimental to our cause in turning South Texas red,” Knowlton told Texas Scorecard. “I would like to thank those who have reached out to disavow her actions and express their support for our campaign.”