These 'Big Lie'-promoting Texas Republicans aren’t 'catching fire' politically: report
In GOP primaries all around the United States, former President Donald Trump and his MAGA devotees are using the Big Lie as a litmus test — threatening to support primary challenges to any Republican incumbent who doesn’t go along with his false and totally debunked claim that widespread voter fraud occurred in the 2020 election. But journalist Forrest Wilder, in an article published by the Texas Monthly on February 17, reports that some Texas Republicans who have made the Big Lie the centerpiece of their campaigns have failed to catch on politically.
In his North Texas district, Rep. Van Taylor has been facing primary challenges from MAGA Republicans who are upset with him for voting for a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
Mark Davis, a far-right Texas-based talk radio host who used to fill in on the late Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, has attacked Taylor for his January 6 commission vote but is now saying that Taylor’s primary opponents are unlikely to unseat him.
“Davis could be wrong, but with just weeks to go, the congressman’s challengers don’t seem to be catching fire,” Wilder explains. “The two opponents with the best shot at unseating him, or forcing him into a runoff, are Suzanne Harp, a bombastic homeschooling mom and businesswoman, and (Keith) Self, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served as county judge in Collin from 2007 to 2018. Both Harp and Self have struggled to raise funds, with Taylor out-raising the two combined almost eight-to-one. And despite Taylor’s Trump-defying votes, the former president has so far stayed out of the race.”
Another Texas Republican who is facing primary challenges from “Stop the Steal” candidates is Rep. Tony Gonzales.
“The only other Texas representative to vote for the January 6 commission — freshman Tony Gonzales, who represents a formerly purple piece of West Texas real estate that stretches from El Paso to San Antonio — is facing two primary challengers,” Wilder observes. “The most active of them, Alma Arredondo-Lynch, is a dentist and rancher who was questioned about her alleged involvement in the January 6 attacks. But Arredondo-Lynch has run unsuccessfully two times in the district, and there are few signs she’s gained traction this cycle.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a conservative Republican, has angered MAGA extremists by refusing to promote the Big Lie.
“Crenshaw, the eyepatch-wearing Navy SEAL who burst on the national scene after winning a Houston-area seat in Congress in 2018, has gotten crosswise with elements of the activist base in his district,” Wilder notes. “He’s drawn three primary challengers who accuse him of being a RINO, in part because he has repeatedly said Biden legitimately won the election. Nonetheless, he’s expected to avoid a runoff.”
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