In a major victory for Texas conservatives, Bryan Slaton, a conservative small-business man from Royse City, successfully defeated State Rep. Dan Flynn (R–Van) in the Republican primary runoff election on Tuesday.
Flynn currently represents House District 2, a northeastern district which includes the counties of Hopkins, Hunt, and Van Zandt.
Slaton challenged Flynn for the seat after falling short in 2016 and 2018. In 2020, however, the third time proved to be the charm.
First elected in 2003, Flynn was once one of the most conservative lawmakers in the Texas House and one of the few who fought against falling in line behind House Speaker Joe Straus after his successful Democrat-led coup against Republican Speaker Tom Craddick.
But after conservatives were defeated, Flynn sold out and became a supplicant for the very regime he’d fought against—serving as lead attack dog against UT Regent Wallace Hall, a whistleblower who uncovered egregious examples of favoritism and corruption in the university admission process, by which elected officials would secure admission to the university for their children or those of wealthy donors.
A “Taxpayer Champion” in 2009 and 2011, Flynn’s rating on the Fiscal Responsibility Index declined first to a B, then a C. And for the last two legislative sessions, Flynn has earned an F for his dismal record of voting against taxpayers and supporting bloated budgets and new taxes.
Flynn’s loss comes despite being endorsed by Gov. Greg Abbott, who has become increasingly unpopular with conservative voters in recent weeks due to his string of executive orders in response to the Chinese coronavirus, ranging from business shutdowns to a statewide mask mandate.
Slaton will now face Democrat Bill Brannon in the November election in the solidly Republican district.