As early voting continues in primary elections across Texas, former Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus is still doling out campaign cash; his political action committee recently gave $10,000 to Texas House candidate Jim Griffin.

Taking power in 2009 through the result of a Democrat-led coup against Republican Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland, Straus spent almost a decade obstructing and subverting the will of Republican primary voters and the party platform—killing efforts to protect life, gun rights, and to limit government from coming to the floor of the Texas House.

After the Republican Caucus passed bylaws to elect a unified Republican candidate for speaker, Straus was forced to call it quits, leaving the post—and the legislature—after 10 years behind the gavel.

In June of 2019, after the legislative session, Straus announced he would be starting the Texas Forever Forward PAC and seeding the effort with an initial investment of $2.5 million left over from his campaign coffers.

With the same kind of veiled language commonly used by liberal Republicans in Austin, Straus said he started the PAC to “promote a thoughtful, conservative approach to governing and rising political leaders ready to ensure a bright future for all Texans.”

Put simply, Straus is seeking to support the same kind of obstructionists he relied on during his time in office.

Griffin, who is running for House District 92 in Tarrant County after the retirement of State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R–Bedford), has a record that appears out of central casting for a Straus-backed candidate.

As mayor of Bedford, Griffin raised taxes eight times, supports using taxpayer dollars to lobby the legislature, and was almost recalled by his own constituents.

Unsurprisingly, Griffin is also receiving money from other establishment sources such as Associated Republicans of Texas, a liberal organization unaffiliated with the Republican Party of Texas that supported establishment Republicans such as the pro-abortion State Rep. Sarah Davis (R–West University Place).

Griffin is facing Jeff Cason, who is endorsed by Stickland and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, and Taylor Gillig in the Republican primary election.

Early voting is ongoing, with Election Day on March 3.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Managing 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

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