As his campaign for speaker of the Texas House gets underway, State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) says the Legislature’s focus should be on the priorities of the Republican Party of Texas.

At the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Convention in June, more than 5,000 delegates from across the state gathered to determine the party priorities and platform for the next two years.

These eight legislative priorities are meant to serve as directives for lawmakers on what party members would like to see accomplished during the 140-day legislative session beginning on January 10.

In an an interview on The Salcedo Storm last week, Tinderholt said he believed those priorities should be adopted by the Legislature.

“The issues for Republicans should be easy. As Republican elected officials, we go to Austin, and our job is to execute Republican priorities that are created by a whole bunch of other people. A lot of time are put into those priorities,” said Tinderholt. “I think it’s important that every Republican go down to Austin and not try to create their own priorities, but to do what the Republican Party has asked us and what Texas voters have asked for us to do.”

Among those top priorities is ending child gender mutilation.

“A huge percent of the voting population, to include Democrats, do not want children having their gender gender permanently modified. I mean, they can’t even buy cigarettes or alcohol until they’re 21…but you can permanently modify a child’s gender at the age of seven.”

Tinderholt went on to call a ban on the practice “low hanging fruit” that should have been passed last session.

Additionally, Tinderholt highlighted school choice as a priority he would like to see accomplished in the coming session, especially in light of increasingly sexualized and radical curriculum in public schools.

“They’re not just teaching them, they’re indoctrinating them into pornographic things with the books that are in the library, discussing transgenderism, and sexuality. And the sad thing is that the school districts don’t even realize that it’s the parents choice to teach those children these things at the time that the parent determines it’s right for their individual child,” said Tinderholt.

A central piece of Tinderholt’s candidacy has been the question of whether or not Democrats should be placed in positions of power in the Republican-led chamber. Eliminating the practice of awarding Democrats committee chairmanships in the Texas Legislature is one of the Texas GOP’s eight legislative priorities for the upcoming session. Current House Speaker Dade Phelan has supported the practice, while Tinderholt voted against it last year.

“As a speaker candidate, I can’t say what I would or would not do as the law prevents you from doing that. But when that rule comes up as a member, I’ll vote yes on that rule change again,” said Tinderholt. “’It’s insane to me that people go to the polls and they vote overwhelmingly to have Republicans in charge down in Texas and the Texas House and we don’t follow their lead. We don’t do what they’re asking us to do.”

The vote for speaker of the House will take place among House members when the state Legislature convenes on January 10, 2023.

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