With less than a month to go until the Texas GOP primary runoff election is concluded, former Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is working to help establishment forces retake a seat in the Texas Legislature.
On Monday, Straus announced on Twitter that his political action committee is supporting establishment candidate Glenn Rogers in the Granbury-based House District 60.
Texas Forever Forward PAC supports veterinarian Dr. Glenn Rogers in House District 60. Dr. Rogers will work each day for public education and other priorities of this rural district. His opponent is propped up by special interests who have poisoned our political system. #txlege
— Joe Straus (@SpeakerStraus) June 22, 2020
Rogers, a rancher and veterinarian from Aledo, entered the race in September when incumbent State Rep. Mike Lang (R–Granbury) was still seeking re-election. Lang later decided to forego seeking re-election to instead campaign for Hood County Commissioner.
Conservatives in the eight-county district quickly rallied behind Jon Francis, a small businessman and longtime activist who has been endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Right to Life, and incumbent Lang.
Francis finished first in the primary but fell short of the 50 percent threshold necessary to win the GOP nomination outright, setting up a runoff election against Rogers, who has run as an establishment campaign and courted support from the Austin lobby.
According to reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission, Rogers has accepted over $100,000 in campaign donations from lobbyist PACs—many of which donate to Democrats, as well.
He’s also been a vocal opponent of grassroots initiatives like banning taxpayer-funded lobbying.
“I am against the ban on taxpayer-funded lobbying,” Glenn Rogers told a crowd of voters at a February candidate forum.
“You heard that right,” he said to gasps.
At the same forum, Rogers also expressed his opposition to constitutional carry.
“I’m very much a Republican, but I also have a brain,” said Rogers at the same forum.
“So, he’s against constitutional carry and approves of taxpayer-funded lobbying. Does he sound like a Republican to you?” asked local activist Nate Criswell in a compilation video of Rogers’ remarks.
Since those flubs, Rogers has largely eschewed candidate debates and forums, preferring instead to stick to meet and greets where his views are less likely to draw scrutiny.
A longtime foe of conservatives in the Texas House, Straus departed from the Texas Legislature in October of 2017 when he announced he would no longer seek re-election. Since then, he has focused his efforts on criticizing President Donald Trump and working to elect liberal Republican lawmakers.