86th LegislatureElections 2020IssuesState HouseState SenateStatewide NewsThe Back MicThe Back Mic: An Overview of This Week’s Political Endorsements

In this week's edition of The Back Mic, we take a look at a flurry of political endorsements that occurred this week as the primary season gears up.
January 24, 2020

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As the Texas primary season rolls on, a flurry of new endorsements was announced this week. Here’s a look at where legislators have landed:

Special Election Hotbed: House District 28

In what has made for an expensive and intense special election runoff, Republican Gary Gates and Democrat Eliz Markowitz each received new endorsements this week. Here’s how the battle lines were drawn:

Gary Gates:

The Texan Tumbler

  • Senator John Cornyn endorsed Gates on Tuesday, posting a video of Texas’ senior senator citing Gates’ support for the Second Amendment and property tax reform, among other issues.
  • The Republican State Leadership Committee also came forward with an endorsement of the millionaire.

Eliz Markowitz:

  • After receiving support from the likes of national political figures Beto O’Rourke and Mike Bloomberg, Markowitz built on that momentum and received the endorsement of presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.
  • Meanwhile, former presidential candidate and congressman O’Rourke continued his barnstorming tour of the district to rally voters at early voting locations in hopes of helping Democrat Eliz Markowitz secure the seat. 

Abbott Endorses in Republican Primaries

Governor Greg Abbott made two endorsements in contested Republican primaries this week, both in districts that were won by Democrats and lost by Republicans in 2018.

  • After Rep. Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston) flipped House District 135 in 2018, Governor Greg Abbott has come out and endorsed Republican candidate Justin Ray in a contested primary. GOP candidate Merrilee Beazley is also running for the seat.
  • Former State Rep. Linda Koop (R-Dallas) was endorsed by Abbott this week after she was defeated by Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos (D-Richardson) in 2018. One other GOP candidate, Rick Walker, is in the race.

Congressional District 12

In what promises to be one of the more expensive congressional primaries this cycle, Texas State Reps. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth), and Phil King (R-Weatherford) endorsed longtime incumbent Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX-12). 

Granger will face-off against challenger and former city councilman Chris Putnam, who just received endorsements from conservative advocacy groups like Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Young Conservatives of Texas, and the Club for Growth.

New Endorsements of Elizabeth Warren

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren picked up four new endorsements from Texas lawmakers this week, as first reported in The Texas Tribune

  • Sen. José Rodríguez (D-El Paso)
  • Rep. Art Fierro (D-El Paso)
  • Rep. Mary González  (D-El Paso)
  • Rep. Joe Moody, House Speaker Pro Tempore (D-El Paso)

Texas Values Issues More Endorsements

Texas Values, an advocacy organization that fights for traditionally conservative social issues, made a handful of new endorsements this week, including of these Republican candidates in competitive open seats: 

  • House District 60: Jon Francis
  • House District 92: Jeff Cason
  • House District 132: Mike Schofield
  • House District 138: Lacey Hull

For a full list of their endorsements, click here

Other Notables

  • Beto O’Rourke gave House District 148 candidate Anna Eastman a nod in a tweet this week, marking yet another state-level race O’Rourke has involved himself in.
  • House District 45 candidate Carrie Isaac secured the endorsement of the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund in a contested primary.
  • House District 60 candidate Jon Francis was endorsed by Lila Rose, a national pro-life personality.
  • Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) endorsed Elianor Vessali, a GOP candidate vying to replace retiring Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX-17) in the 17th Congressional District.
  • State Rep. Sheryl Cole (D-Austin) endorsed Mike Siegel, a Democratic candidate looking to unseat Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) in the 10th Congressional District.


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McKenzie DiLullo

McKenzie DiLullo serves as Senior Editor at The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.