Texas House Speaker Wins Primary Despite AG Paxton’s Opposition


Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan secured a victory in his primary challenge on Tuesday, ensuring his continuation as one of the state’s leading legislators despite internal party efforts to remove him from office. 

Phelan narrowly triumphed over former Orange County Republican Party Chairman David Covey, receiving 50.7% of the vote to Covey’s 49.3% as nearly all the ballots were tallied.

Phelan’s win follows his initial performance in the state’s March primary, where he trailed Covey, propelling both into a runoff since neither candidate surpassed the 50% threshold. This victory comes despite state Attorney General Ken Paxton endorsing Covey, following Phelan’s role in overseeing Paxton’s impeachment trial last year. 

Despite support from former state House speakers Dennis Bonnen and Joe Straus, as well as former Gov. Rick Perry, Phelan has encountered resistance from his own party. The Texas Republican Party censured him for his vote to impeach Paxton, marking only the fourth instance in state history where a sitting speaker has been censured. 

Phelan also faced criticism for his “present” vote on Gov. Greg Abbott’s proposed school voucher program, which ultimately did not pass. Abbott pledged to oust lawmakers who opposed the program, designed to allocate state funds to families for private schooling expenses.

Phelan’s win comes after prolonged tensions, making this race one of the costliest runoffs in the 2024 election cycle. Both campaigns collectively spent approximately $5.4 million, excluding expenditures from external groups.

Cami Mondeaux
Cami Mondeaux
Congressional Reporter. A Utah native, Cami graduated from Westminster College in Salt Lake City in 2021 and covered state government as a breaking news reporter for KSL News Radio.

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