Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday endorsed his challenger to Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, who drew ire from Republicans across the state and across the country after he backed the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last year.
David Covey, who is running against Phelan in Texas’ 21st state House seat, has the support of Trump and Paxton ahead of the March GOP primary.
“David Covey is running against Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, who led the sham impeachment of recently re-elected Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton,” Trump wrote on Truth. Social. “David is America’s First Conservative who will secure the Border, restore electoral integrity, protect our families and military, and defend our Second Amendment under siege.”
The Texas House of Representatives impeached Paxton last May with Phelan’s support, but the state Senate acquitted him In September, accusations of corruption and abuse of power were brought forward. Trump called on Fela to resign after Paxton was acquitted.
“I have voted for President Trump twice and I plan to vote for him a third time. “Trump himself has said he doesn’t know me or my record of fighting for Southeast Texans,” Speaker Phelan said in a statement Tuesday. “Unfortunately, my opponents sought this confirmation in yet another attempt to retaliate against me for holding public officials accountable and defending the Texas House against outside interests.”
The former president’s move comes less than a week after Phelan announced his endorsement of Trump’s campaign. Trump cemented his status as the 2024 Republican presidential candidate after winning the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries.
“Last week, Dade Phelan said, ‘I voted for President Trump twice for president and I’m going to vote for him a third time.’ I think he will be a candidate.” But words do not alleviate the absolute shame that Speaker Fela has brought upon the State of Texas and the Great Republican Party!” Trump said in the post “Truth Social”.
Paxton, a staunch Trump ally, was heavily involved in the effort to oust Phelan. on the campaign trail and in television commercials on Covey’s behalf.
“Dade has lost his way and is more beholden to the Democrats who elect him speaker than the people who elected him to fight for them,” Paxton said. an announcement.
Phelan, meanwhile, tried to tout his conservative credentials on guns, the border and transgender issues.
In a Pheland campaign advertising Leo LaBauve and Joe Evans, two Republican county chairmen in Texas that began airing before Trump announced his endorsement, warned against “negative attack ads” by “people who don’t even live here.”