School choice sees HUGE victory in Texas as RINO incumbents get walloped by conservative challengers
06/17/2024 // Ethan Huff // Views

A huge shakeup has occurred in Texas politics after a number of Republican incumbents fell to conservative challengers in the Texas House primary run-offs, paving the way for Gov. Greg Abbott's school choice agenda to take hold across the Lone Star State.

Abbott, outside groups and what Real Clear Politics described as "a deep-pocketed donor" effectively flipped the seats of 14 Republicans, most of them from rural districts, who opposed Abbott's school choice measure last fall.

Some 21 House Republicans in total voted to strip from a larger education bill a voucher program put together by Abbott. Of those 21, 15 will not be returning as the coalition defeated six GOP incumbents in March, followed by another three in last week's run-offs. Four of the five retiring Republican seats were also filled with voucher supporters, followed by another voucher backer winning a special election run-off.

The shift is significant not only because of the issue at hand, but also because the defeat of these longtime Republicans is historic in nature. It will change the direction of Texas politics, likely for the better – but we will have to wait and see.

(Related: Remember when the Biden regime threatened war with Texas over the border crisis?)

Texas families to choose where they want to educate their children

Abbott had previously threatened to get rid of all anti-school voucher Republicans who stood in the way of his efforts to give parents across Texas taxpayer-funded options when it comes to educating their children somewhere other than public schools.

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It only took a handful of the conservative challengers to win before Abbott declared victory and announced that the House "now has enough votes to pass school choice," which is also historic.

"While we did not win every race we fought in, the overall message from this year's primaries is clear: Texans want school choice," Abbott further stated.

"Opponents can no longer ignore the will of the people."

One vote that was not victorious was the reinstallment of House Speaker David Phelan, who narrowly eked out a win with less than 400 votes. Phelan is one of the incumbent Republicans who voted last fall to strip school choice from the education bill.

Because his win was so narrow, it is expected that Phelan will have a tough time holding onto his leadership position next year, though, especially if enough Texas voters see how beneficial school choice is to their families.

Abbott may hold controversial positions on other matters such as freedom of speech on college campuses, but his prioritizing of the school choice issue is one that many Texas Republicans appreciate.

"The sometimes-cautious governor campaigned for reelection on the issue in 2022 and made universal education saving accounts a central theme of his most recent State of the State addresses," Real Clear Politics reported.

"The ESAs would use taxpayer funds to provide parents a voucher worth $10,500 a year per student to use at a private school."

For many years, Texas teacher unions have successfully opposed school choice legislation, just as they have in other states. Their argument is that voucher programs deprive public schools of essential funding and primarily benefit wealthy families that are already sending their children to private schools.

Abbott and his allies, conversely, say that most parents regardless of socioeconomic status prefer to choose the best education for their children rather than be told where they have to send their children in order for their education to be covered by taxpayers.

Unless the matter is deemed an "emergency item," the Texas legislature will not be allowed to vote on this or any other bill until 60 days into its legislative session. Abbott gave the voucher issue expedited status to prioritize its passage once that time comes.

More related news coverage can be found at

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