“The Back Mic” is a weekly look inside Texas politics and policy presented by The Texan. In just a few bullet points every Friday, you’ll know about the critical developments from the candidates, elected officials, and policies that impact Texans everywhere.
Rep. Mike Lang Reverses Course to Run For Reelection
- After announcing he would run for Hood County Commissioner instead of running for reelection to House District 60, State Rep. Mike Lang (R-Granbury) reversed the decision and will now be running for his house seat.
- Governor Abbott’s campaign account tweeted, “Good to see @RepMikeLang is back in the fight. Much work ahead. Let’s do it.” Abbott endorsed Lang on August 26.
Former Congressman Pete Sessions to Run for Bill Flores’ Congressional Seat
- Former Rep. Pete Sessions announced he would run for Congressional District 17, currently held by Rep. Bill Flores and largely considered a safe Republican district. Flores announced he would retire from the seat earlier this month.
- This decision comes after Sessions lost reelection to the Dallas-based CD 32 in 2018 to Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas).
- The Texan broke this story earlier this week.
Republican Party of Texas Chairman Debate
Current GOP Chairman James Dickey faced off against his challenger, and former Florida congressman, Lt. Colonel Allen West at the Texas Federation of Republican Women Convention. Here are some highlights:
- On 2018 Republican Losses
- Lt. Col. Allen West: “If you look at the last 2018 session, and also the 2018 election cycle, I mean we lost 12 state house seats, we lost a couple of state senate seats, we lost two U.S. congressional seats, and more importantly lost…judgeships.
- Chairman James Dickey: “Colonel West mentioned 12 house members who lost their races, what he didn’t mention is one of those 12 who lost by less than three points had $130,000 in the bank on election night. Another who lost by less than three points spent the last three weeks of the election campaigning for others.”
- JD: “What nobody talks about is that for the twelfth election in a row we won every single statewide elected office in Texas…we did that in spite of outside money coming in at over $138 million in this last election.”
- On West’s Voting Record and Dickey’s Salary
- JD: “My opponent gives a phenomenal speech, and so I can see why counties and clubs have been paying to do it. According to Heritage [Action], with all due respect to the former congressman, [West] would not even be in the top half of the current Texas delegation in his voting record on [social conservatism, fiscal conservatism, national security].”
- AW: “Let me tell you something, Chairman. There was a reason why I was the number one target for the Democrat Party in 2012.”
- AW: “And another thing, don’t talk about compensation because I will not have someone that sits on the SREC paying my salary.”
- On Gun Rights
- JD: “The Republican Party of Texas’ positions on gun rights are crystal clear. We want to make sure that there is no impediment to legal gun ownership and self-defense.”
- AW: “Full disclosure, I’m on the board of the National Rifle Association, I’m in my second term there…We just need to enforce our laws.”
- Both candidates spoke with The Texan following the debate:
- JD: “I’m very excited about going forward with the campaign because our track record is amazing. The efforts that we are doing is not some baton that can be handed off. I ask everyone to join me in our efforts to make sure to elect President Trump and everyone on the Republican ballot next November.”
- AW: “I think the most important thing to understand is that managing resources is the role of RPT chairman. We need a chairman who will challenge the progressive socialist left.”
State Sen. Bob Hall on Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s Proposed Gun Control
- “I have never, and will never support expanded background checks.” – Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood)
George P. Bush “Ready” to Run for Higher Office
“While he wouldn’t challenge current Governor Abbott or Lieutenant Governor Patrick, if an opening presents itself he would absolutely consider serving Texans in a higher role. When that moment arises, he’s ready,” a senior Bush advisor told the National Review.
McKenzie Taylor serves as Operations Manager and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s 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.