The Back MicThe Back Mic: Uvalde Sheriff to Testify Before House Committee, Cornyn’s Approval Ratings Dip, Latest Polling for Top Statewide Races

This week — Uvalde Sheriff Nolasco will appear before a House investigative committee after his initial absence, Cornyn sees disapproval ratings rise after the gun deal, and June polling for three statewide races is listed.
July 8, 2022

Don’t Miss “The Back Mic”

An exclusive look inside Texas politics and policy, every Friday.

Uvalde Sheriff Agrees to Deposition by Special House Committee

After an absence from the initial slate of officials giving testimony to the House Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary School Shooting, Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco has agreed to appear before the special committee.

On Wednesday, state Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), chair of the committee, released a statement about Nolasco’s absence, announcing a notice of deposition.

“On June 9th, thirty-six individuals — 17 civilians and 19 members of law enforcement — have provided voluntary, sworn testimony to the investigative committee. Unfortunately, the committee has been forced to send a notice of deposition to [Nolasco], who has thus far refused to testify,” Burrows said.

But on Thursday, Burrows tweeted, “I just received a phone call from Uvalde Sheriff Ruben Nolasco. He has agreed to appear at Monday’s committee hearing. I appreciate him coming voluntarily.”

The Texan Tumbler

Burrows’ committee was formed by Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) after the tragedy in May. Burrows is joined on the committee by state Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.

The body will convene on Monday, July 11 at 9:00 a.m.

Cornyn’s Approval Ratings Dip After Gun Deal

According to a new poll by the Texas Politics Project, Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) approval ratings took a hit after he announced the U.S. Senate had reached a deal on gun legislation. Among other items, the legislation provides funding for states that implement their own red flag laws and expands requirements for gun buyers under 21 years of age.

The development was not a welcome one among Texas GOP convention delegates, who booed the senior senator for the entirety of his convention speech.

Half of all respondents disapproved of Cornyn, up from 39 percent in April, and his approval number dropped from 32 percent to 24 percent. That amounted to a 24 percent net negative rating, four points more than the second closest in President Biden.

Among Republicans, 41 percent approve and 34 percent disapprove of Cornyn — a two-times growth in those who disapprove since the last poll. Among conservatives, those approval and disapproval figures are dead even at 37 percent.

Two-thirds of GOP respondents say gun laws should either be left as they are now or made less strict.

Cornyn is not up for re-election until 2026.

Head-to-Head Statewide Matchups

The same survey from the Texas Politics Project provided polling on the top three head-to-head matchups for statewide races. It shows support among respondents:


Greg Abbott (R) – 45%

Beto O’Rourke (D) – 39%

Mark Tippets (L) – 2%

Delilah Barrios (G) – 1%

Lt. Governor

Dan Patrick (R) – 38%

Mike Collier (D) – 26%

Shanna Steele (L) – 5%

Attorney General

Ken Paxton (R) – 37%

Rochelle Garza (D) – 29%

Mark Ash (L) – 5%


Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.

Get “KB's Hot Take”

A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.

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.