With exactly 365 days to go until the Texas Legislature is scheduled to reconvene for the 88th Legislative session in 2023, the Young Conservatives of Texas has released its legislative ratings for the most recent legislative session, revealing a disconnect between conservative voters and the lawmakers representing them.

These ratings mark the 24th consecutive release since the organization began grading lawmakers in 1975. 

But despite Texas holding Republican majorities at every level of state government, the average rating in the House was only 48. The average rating in the Senate was 57. 

These ratings were based on a selection of 55 votes in the House and 50 votes in the Senate, covering issues such as school choice, banning taxpayer-funded lobbying, limiting abortion, eliminating corporate welfare, and more.

In the House, two lawmakers tied for the top title, with State Reps. Steve Toth (R–The Woodlands) and Mayes Middleton (R–Wallisville) both receiving perfect scores.

Middleton is currently in a campaign for the Texas Senate.

In the Senate, State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood) earned the top score of 94, while State Sen. Kel Seliger (R–Amarillo) was the lowest-scoring Republican in the chamber.

Seliger announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election.

The lowest scoring Republican in the House was State Rep. Kyle Kacal (R–College Station), who earned a 47. That score places him just three points ahead of Democrat State Rep. Ryan Guillen, who recently announced he was changing his party affiliation and running as a Republican.

All of the most liberal Democrats in the Legislature came from the city of Austin. The most liberal Democrats in the House were Austin State Reps. Vicki Goodwin and Celia Israel, while that title was earned in the Senate by State Sen. Sarah Eckhardt.

“The goal of YCT’s ratings is to assist everyday Texans in evaluating their state representative and state senator,” said Will Dominguez, the group’s state chairman. “We do this by leveraging a holistic approach that scores each representatives’ and senators’ votes on a broad range of issues. The issues are specified in the legislative agenda YCT crafted and released before the start of the legislative session.” 

The full YCT ratings, along with votes considered, can be viewed here.

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

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