Texas runoff election sets races for November after Republican party civil war

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House Speaker Dade Phelan survives brutal superior situation

House Speaker Dade Phelan survives brutal superior challenge 04:02

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan survived the nasty superior runoff for his spot portion chap blimpish authorities Rep. Justin Holland mislaid his suburban Dallas spot to Trump 2016 spokeswoman Katrina Pierson successful 2 of the highest-profile races successful the progressively bloody interior warfare among Texas Republicans. 

Despite the Republicans' 84-66 bulk successful the authorities House of Representatives and palmy blimpish docket from the 2023 legislative session, 15 House Republicans mislaid to challengers either successful primaries successful March oregon successful the runoffs connected Tuesday night. The Republicans were victims of the intra-party war, with Attorney General Ken Paxton taking purpose astatine Republicans who voted to impeach him past twelvemonth and separately, Gov. Greg Abbott backed challengers to the Republicans who voted against his schoolhouse voucher bill. 

Six of the 8 incumbents connected Tuesday nighttime mislaid to challengers, with Abbott declaring Tuesday nighttime that helium had capable votes to walk his voucher bill. Last fall, 21 authorities House Republicans — chiefly from agrarian districts — joined with each the Democrats to defeat his voucher bill. Abbott backed respective challengers to Republicans who voted against his bill. 

Phelan, who has represented the Beaumont country since 2015 and has been talker for 2 terms, did not unit his members to backmost Abbott's measure successful a peculiar November legislative session, according to the Texas Tribune

Texas Legislature Voting Bills Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan oversees statement implicit a voting measure successful the House Chamber astatine the Texas Capitol successful Austin, Texas, Tuesday, May 23, 2023. Eric Gay / AP

Although Abbott stayed retired of Phelan's race, Paxton had vowed to decision him and challenger David Covey adjacent managed to get the endorsement of erstwhile President Donald Trump and almighty Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. 

On Tuesday, Phelan managed to stave disconnected Covey by less than 500 votes, according to The Associated Press. 

"I americium immensely grateful to the voters of Southeast Texas, who person spoken large and clear: successful Southeast Texas, we acceptable our ain course—our assemblage is not for sale, and our values are not up for auction," Phelan said successful a statement. "I beryllium a profound indebtedness of gratitude to each elector and unpaid whose relentless dedication turned that imaginativeness into tonight's resounding victory."

After the result, Paxton posted connected societal media "Texas AG Ken Paxton's Statement connected Dade Phelan Stealing Election" and called for the primaries to beryllium closed lone to Republicans. 

"My connection to Austin is clear: to those considering supporting Dade Phelan arsenic Speaker successful 2025, inquire your 15 colleagues who mislaid re-election however they consciousness astir their determination now," Paxton said. "You volition not instrumentality if you ballot for Dade Phelan again!"

Phelan was targeted by Paxton for starring the impeachment lawsuit successful the Texas House past twelvemonth against Paxton, 1 of Trump's closest allies. Phelan had launched the probe into Paxton aboriginal successful the 2023 legislative league and moved guardant with impeaching Paxton related to allegations of misconduct, including bribery and maltreatment of office. 

Health Care Troubles The Texas Capitol is viewed from its southbound broadside connected Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2005, successful Austin, Texas.  HARRY CABLUCK / AP

Ahead of the impeachment vote, Paxton accused Phelan of being drunk connected the House floor. 

Sixty House Republicans — much than two-thirds of the 84 full Republicans successful the House — joined each 66 Democrats successful voting to impeach Paxton connected 20 articles. Paxton was yet acquitted successful the GOP-controlled authorities Senate.

The victorious Paxton past endorsed challengers to those who voted to impeach him and embarked connected a "statewide Fall tour" to run for them. Facing the Paxton-backed challenger, impeachment manager Republican Rep. Andrew Murr, the grandson of Coke Stevenson, who famously mislaid the 1948 contested Senate predetermination to Lyndon Johnson, opted not to tally for reelection

Phelan came successful 2nd successful the March primary, but Covey did not unafraid the 50% ballot indispensable to stave disconnected a runoff. 

The 5 authorities House representatives representing Paxton's location county, Collin County, were among the 60 who voted to impeach him. In a associated statement, they said the ballot was an "incredibly hard ballot as, for astir of us, Ken has been a agelong clip friend."

One of those five, Paxton's hometown legislator, Rep. Frederick Frazier, was defeated Tuesday nighttime by challenger Keresa Richardson. In summation to being targeted by Paxton, Frazier had pleaded blameworthy to transgression mischief and nary contention connected 2 misdemeanor charges for allegedly impersonating a nationalist official.

Another of Paxton's targets was Holland, who besides represents Paxton's location territory of Collin County. Abbott backed Pierson successful the superior fixed Holland's ballot against schoolhouse vouchers. Holland had besides angered the close helping of the enactment aft voting retired of committee a measure that had zero accidental of passing the House level that would person raised the property for weapon inheritance checks aft a shooting successful his district.

Caroline Linton

Caroline Linton is an subordinate managing exertion connected the governmental squad for CBSNews.com. She has antecedently written for The Daily Beast, Newsweek and amNewYork.

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