Residents of House District 11 must be tired of keeping track of what side of the fence their state representative Chuck Hopson sits on. It was only four years ago that Rep. Hopson claimed membership in the Democratic Party. Now after switching to the GOP, Rep. Hopson is loudly trumpeting the conservative message, hoping to drown out questions about his dismal voting record.
A few days ago, Rep. Hopson’s campaign sent out a press release indicating his priority going forward is to “get a Republican back in the White House” while “continuing [the] strong conservative representation” of House District 11 in the Legislature.
“Continuing?” His constituents are probably wishing it would start.
Rep. Hopson said he left the Democratic Party in 2009 because President Obama did not reflect his conservative views, but looking at the election results of Hopson’s previous general election results may make you wonder if it was more a move for political expediency. Rep. Hopson first came to office in 2000, receiving only 53.05% of the vote. With the exception of 2002 (when he had no challenger), Rep. Hopson failed to reach that threshold again, with his lowest vote total coming in 2008 (with 49.29%).
And after seeing Rep. Hopson’s voting record improve only to a D on our Fiscal Responsibility Index, his constituents would be right to wonder if he knows what “conservative” philosophy actually entails.
Some of Rep. Hopson’s noteworthy votes this session include:
- To continue funding unnecessary bureaucracies like the Texas Education Agency and Commission on the Arts, instead of the Foundation Schools Program and Department of Aging and Disability Services
- To oppose reforming eminent domain laws to make public entities prove land they seek is absolutely necessary for public use
- To interfere in the marketplace by adding additional regulations to select businesses
- To oppose adding more transparency to the state budget by listing all line items of spending and to cite their constitutional authority
- To oppose allowing parents more control in turning failing public schools into charter schools
- To oppose removing language automatically tapping the Rainy Day Fund
And lets not forget the close relationship Rep. Hopson has with Speaker Joe Straus. Texas Watchdog discovered last November that Hopson received over $42,000 in total campaign contributions from Straus and his political action committee after being appointed by the speaker to chair the House General Investigating and Ethics Committee. That same committee later determined behind closed doors that Straus lieutenant Rep. Larry Phillips (R – Sherman) was innocent of any wrongdoing relating to allegations of redistricting threats made to conservative Rep. Bryan Hughes (R – Mineola).
True conservative leadership is needed now more than ever, but Mr. Hopson has demonstrated he’s no more interested in serving the taxpayers’ interest now than he was as a Democrat two years ago. It’s time to find statesmen willing to govern as conservatives – not just campaign as them.
Note: Word coming out of East Texas indicates a Nacogdoches attorney will challenge Rep. Hopson in the GOP primary. More information will be provided as it becomes available.