The Back MicThe Back Mic: Abbott Voices School Choice Support, Texas GOP Joins Election Fraud Prosecution Effort, Nikki Haley Endorses in Texas

This week — Gov. Abbott backs a push for school choice legislation, the Texas GOP joins the legal effort to revisit a decision that neutered part of the election reform bill, and Republican candidate Wesley Hunt receives a national endorsement.
January 21, 2022

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Abbott Throws Support Behind School Choice 

This week, Governor Greg Abbott said that school choice will be a top priority when the legislature meets again in 2023. He added this recoil will occur due to local entities’ movement to close schools, implement mask mandates, and establish other restrictions due to the pandemic.

“This upcoming session, you’re going to see a stronger, swifter, more powerful movement advocating school choice than you’ve ever seen in the history of the State of Texas,” Abbott told press at an event in Kingwood announcing his tax reform plan.

School choice legislation has been a legislative priority for the Texas GOP. As a policy, it usually entails some sort of voucher system whereby parents can take their children to any school in the state, rather than being locked into attending their local public school as established by zip codes.

No legislation for such a policy was passed into law last session, but Abbott’s remarks indicate an intention to focus more intently on that endeavor next year.

Texas GOP Files Amicus Brief Contesting Election Fraud Prosecution Decision

Last week, the Republican Party of Texas announced its support of Attorney General Ken Paxton’s challenge to the Court of Criminal Appeals decision that ruled only county district attorneys may prosecute election fraud allegations. This week, the Texas GOP filed an amicus brief backing up Paxton’s challenge.

“Two days after the 2022 primary filing deadline, on a pretrial writ, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that the Attorney General did not have constitutional authority to prosecute election law violations under separation of powers principles even though the Texas Legislature delegated this authority to the Attorney General,” reads the brief.

It adds, “in one stroke, this Court has discarded over a century of Texas jurisprudence and carefully crafted legislation that upholds and accentuates the authority of the Attorney General to ‘perform such other duties as may be required by law.’”

Paxton has asked the court to reconsider its ruling, and now the Texas GOP has officially joined that request. The Criminal Court of Appeals is the highest court in Texas on criminal matters, and the state Supreme Court cannot overrule the appeals court on this issue.

A group of 13 state senators also filed an amicus brief to the same effect. They are:

  • Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston)
  • Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury)
  • Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway)
  • Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)
  • Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe)
  • Bob Hall (R-Edgewood)
  • Brian Hughes (R-Mineola)
  • Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)
  • Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound)
  • Angela Paxton (R-McKinney)
  • Charles Perry (R-Lubbock)
  • Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown)
  • Drew Springer (R-Muenster)
  • Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood)

Nikki Haley Endorses Wesley Hunt

Wesley Hunt, a Republican candidate in the race for Texas’ new 38th Congressional District, has been endorsed by a national figure — former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.

“Wesley Hunt defended our freedoms abroad and now he’s fighting to defend our freedoms here at home,” said Haley. “He is a West Point grad, combat veteran, and soon to be great Congressman from Texas. I’m proud to support him and take America back in 2022.”

“I am incredibly honored to have Ambassador Haley’s support,” said Hunt. “Nikki has been a leading conservative figure who fought tirelessly against the radical left during her time in President Trump’s Administration. As our United Nations Ambassador, Ambassador Haley continuously held China, Russia, and Iran accountable for their threats against democracy, and as your Congressman, I vow to stand up against the Chinese and Iranian Regimes.”

This is Hunt’s second congressional bid in two years after he narrowly lost to Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-07) in 2020. This year, Hunt is running for the 38th Congressional District — one of Texas’ two new congressional districts drawn after the 2020 Census redistributed the seats from other states.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.