DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF) – Texas leaders are reacting to the state GOP’s refusal to accept Republican Dade Phelan as the newly elected Speaker of the House. Phelan will replace Speaker Dennis Bonnen who opted not to run for re-election following the release of a controversial recorded phone call.
In a statement released on Monday, Texas GOP Chairman Allen West said Texas will not allow the undermining of the “Texas Republic.” He criticized Phelan for his willingness to work with Democrats.
“This is why the Republican Party of Texas is perplexed, and will not support, a potential Texas Speaker of the House who would seek affirmation from progressive socialist Democrats to attain that position. It is utterly absurd and demonstrably idiotic that any Republican would join with Democrats to lead our Republican majority (83-67) Texas State House. Does anyone believe that Texas Democrats will support the Republican Party of Texas legislative priority of election integrity?”
He clarified that the Republican Party of Texas will not support, nor accept, Rep. Phelan as Speaker of the Texas House.
“Texas does not need a Republican political traitor, not at a time when the two diverging philosophies of governance are this lucid,” said West. “The Republican Party of Texas will not sit back idly and watch leftist Democrats be placed as Committee Chairmen who will undermine, kill, our legislative priorities, as happened in the 86th Texas legislative session. Texas will be led by Constitutional Conservatives, not middle of the road “road kill” individuals seeking alliance with Marxist, socialist, leftists. We fought hard in the 2020 election cycle, against massive odds and leftist resources, to retain a strong legislative majority.”
The comments angered several Republican leaders, including State Rep. Jeff Leach.
Hey @AllenWest – calling @DadePhelan a “traitor” is petulant and patently untrue. Stop the childish name-calling and work with your fellow Republicans to make the 87th #txlege a resounding success for conservatives and for all Texans. Lead with us…Don’t lie about us!
— Jeff Leach (@leachfortexas) November 9, 2020
Current Speaker Dennis Bonnen defended his successor on Tuesday.
“Chairman West needs to quit attacking Republican leaders and start supporting Republican leaders and go after Democrats who get in the way of conservative ideas becoming policy in Texas,” Bonnen told WBAP/KLIF News. “Do your job Chairman West.”
Bonnen assured Republican leaders that West has nothing to do with the legislative process.
“Chairman West’s job is to support and help elect Republicans, and he for some reason did little or nothing of that in this pact election cycle,” said Bonnen. “In turn he has said stupid, inappropriate, and irresponsible things. Things that harm Republicans.”
Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement congratulating Representative Dade Phelan on securing the necessary votes to become the next Speaker of the Texas House:
“Congratulations to my friend, Dade Phelan, for securing the votes—including over 95% of the Republican caucus—to become the next Speaker of the Texas House. A strong conservative, Dade has a proven record of fighting for the lives and livelihoods of all Texans, having played a key role in authoring and passing critical legislation to bolster disaster relief and preparedness following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. I look forward to working with him and all members of the House on commonsense, conservative legislation to create an even brighter future for the people of Texas.”
Allen West did not respond to comment regarding the backlash he has received since releasing his statement.
Listen to Clayton Neville’s story below:
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