Embattled House Speaker Dade Phelan, who faces a runoff election next month, continues his fundraising tour across the state.

His latest money-raising event is scheduled for May 9 in Houston. Participation levels start at $250, with $50,000 donors receiving “Diamond” host committee status.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and their founders Dick Weekley and Dick Trabulsi are listed on the invitation. TLR has been criticized for stoking and helping the House’s impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton last year and is the subject of Texas Scorecard’s newest documentary Hubris: The Texas Kingmakers. 

Associated Republican of Texas, another establishment-aligned Austin group, is also on the invitation.

Also listed in the invitation are several incumbent House Republicans from the Houston area:

Greg Bonnen
Charles Cunningham
Lacey Hull
Will Metcalf
Dennis Paul

Former State Rep. Dan Huberty is also on the event’s host committee. After being arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after he rear-ended another vehicle while at a stoplight in 2021, he did not seek re-election and instead opened up a bar and cafe in downtown Austin catering to lawmakers, lobbyists, and reporters.

John Nau—the CEO of Silver Eagle Beverages, one of the country’s largest Anheuser-Busch distributors, and Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign treasurer—is also listed on the invitation.

The Houston event is part of a series of fundraisers Phelan has hosted after coming in second place to former Orange County GOP Chairman David Covey in the March primary. He has also hosted fundraisers in Austin and Dallas, collecting money from donors, lobbyists, and politicians. How successful he is at raising cash remains to be seen, as the next round of campaign finance reports are not due until May 20. 

Meanwhile, Phelan is facing a challenge to the speakership as well, with State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R–Cypress) having already announced his plan to run for the position, citing Phelan’s empowerment of Democrats as a key motivator for his candidacy.

The runoff election will take place on May 28. 

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