A new report reveals Republican State Rep. Gary VanDeaver of New Boston was a paid consultant for a lobbying firm.

A 2022 personal financial statement, first reported by the Dallas Express, shows that VanDeaver was employed by Powell Law Group from 2020-2022. 

According to the firm’s website, the group offers “turnkey public policy and governmental affairs programs for school district leaders and businesses in the education space who want to influence local and state legislative and regulatory matters.”

While VanDeaver claimed the Powell Group “is not a lobby firm,” the group’s own website states that their government relations services include lobbying. 

Records reveal the firm has lobby clients including the Texas Association of Rural Schools, the Association of Texas Professional Educators, and the Texas Rural Broadband Commission.

In a statement to the Dallas Express, VanDeaver maintained his involvement did not involve lobbying for the group’s clients:

I provided mentorship and training to school superintendents and school boards to help them do their jobs better. As a retired teacher, principal, and school superintendent in rural districts, I feel it’s important to pass along the knowledge I’ve acquired in my career to help those in the same positions better serve their communities and the students and parents who rely upon them.

Additionally, school choice advocates have noted that VanDeaver was among the small group of Republicans that voted with Democrats to kill an education savings account proposal in the Texas House last year. Several of the Powell Group’s clients have opposed school choice.

VanDeaver is currently facing a primary runoff election on May 28 against Chris Spencer.

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