The Back MicThe Back Mic: Texas GOP Decries Election Fraud Ruling, New Senate Finance Chair Tapped, Abbott Sheriff Endorsements Listed

This week — the Republican Party of Texas backs the reconsideration of a ruling on the state’s election reform law, a state senator is named the new chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and Abbott is endorsed by 52 sheriffs.
January 14, 2022
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Texas GOP Decries Criminal Appeals Court Ruling on Election Fraud Prosecution

The Texas legislature’s marquee legislation from 2021, the Election Integrity Act of 2021, is at risk after the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that only county district attorneys may prosecute election fraud allegations.

With some county attorneys across the state either hesitant or outright dismissive of prosecuting election fraud, that leaves the bill’s future in question. The legislation granted the state attorney general specific authority to prosecute those allegations, but it was ruled a violation of the separation of powers by the court.

Being the highest judicial authority on criminal matters, the court’s decision is final.

This week, the Republican Party of Texas released a terse statement criticizing the ruling and backing the attorney general’s authority.

The Texan Tumbler

“This decision is bad for Texas. Now, Texans will be forced to rely on their local prosecutors to investigate and prosecute election fraud,” the statement read. “This most likely means large urban areas and liberal strong holds will have no recourse to pursue election fraud.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has asked the court to reconsider its ruling. The party echoed this request, saying, “The Republican Party of Texas supports the motion for a rehearing and hopes the Court reverses this radical decision that undermines years of precedent and the will of the legislature.”

Joan Huffman to Chair Senate Finance Committee

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick tapped Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) to take over the powerful Senate Finance Committee that will be vacant with current chair Sen. Jane Nelson’s (R-Flower Mound) retirement.

“When Finance Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, decided to not run for re-election, I immediately began thinking about who I would name as the next Finance Chair,” Patrick said in a release. “The position of Finance Chair is one of the most powerful positions in the Senate. That person, along with the Senate Committee on Finance, oversees the budget of the 9th largest economy in the world.”

“After much thought and consideration, I have decided to name Sen. Joan Huffman to the position.”

Huffman has been in the Texas Senate since 2008, when she beat Chris Bell in a special election.

“As Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, I will lead the effort with the help of my Senate colleagues to pass another conservative budget that meets the needs of our growing population, encourages economic growth, and provides for public safety. Texans deserve nothing less,” Huffman said of the appointment. 

Huffman took over the chair position on Wednesday of this week.

In 2021, the Texas legislature approved a $248.5 billion budget for the 2022-2023 biennium, along with a stronger spending increase cap.

List of Sheriffs That Endorsed Abbott for Re-election

Last week, The Back Mic listed key endorsements in the Texas gubernatorial race. This week, Governor Greg Abbott announced the endorsement of over 50 sheriffs of the 254 across the state. They are listed below:

  • David Soward — Atascosa County
  • Alden Southmayd, III — Bee County
  • Don Jackson — Blanco County
  • Jeff Neal — Bowie County
  • L. Bo Stallman, II — Brazoria County
  • Urbino “Benny” Martinez — Brooks County
  • Bobbie Vickery — Calhoun County
  • Tam Terry — Carson County
  • Larry Rowe — Cass County
  • Brian Hawthorne — Chambers County
  • Michael Pigg — Childress County
  • Carl Bowen ­– DeWitt County
  • Mark Johnson — Fannin County
  • Ricky S. Jones — Franklin County
  • Buddy Mills — Gillespie County
  • Donald Sowell — Grimes County
  • Roy Boyd — Goliad County
  • Keith Schmidt — Gonzales County
  • Arnold Zwicke — Guadalupe County
  • Pat Laughery — Hardeman County
  • Gary Cutler — Hays County
  • Rodney Watson — Hill County
  • Arvin West — Hudspeth County
  • Bryan Beavers — Kaufman County
  • Larry Leitha — Kerr County
  • Richard Kirkpatrick — Kleberg County
  • Scott C. Cass — Lamar County
  • Jesus Ramos — Lampasas County
  • Micah C. Harmon — Lavaca County
  • Larry Busby — Live Oak County
  • David Capps — Marion County
  • Brad Ingram — Martin County
  • Emmett Shelton — McMullen County
  • David Criner — Midland County
  • Clint Hammonds — Mills County
  • Rand Henderson — Montgomery County
  • Terry Bouchard ­— Ochiltree County
  • Brent Warden — Oldham County
  • Brian Thomas — Potter County
  • Pinky Gonzales — Refugio County
  • Carl L. Squyres — Runnels County
  • Johnwayne Valdez — Rusk County
  • Thomas N. Maddox — Sabine County
  • Robert Cartwright — San Augustine County
  • Oscar Rivera — San Patricio County
  • Trey Wilson — Scurry County
  • Larry Smith — Smith County
  • Bill Waybourn — Tarrant County
  • Doc Wigington — Throckmorton County
  • Justin Marr — Victoria County
  • Shannon Srubar — Wharton County
  • Raymundo “Ray” Del Bosque, Jr. — Zapata County
  • Eusevio Salinas — Zavala County

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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.