The feud that has been brewing for more than a year between Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and State Rep Lyle Larson, the senior Bexar County Republican, broke into the open today when Abbott endorsed Larson's opponent in next month's Republican primary, Hollywood Park Mayor Chris Fails, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Abbott hinted that he doesn't feel that Larson is conservative enough for today's Texas Republican Party.
"During the next Legislative session, we have an opportunity to pass conservative policies that will benefit every Texan," he said in his endorsement.
Over a twenty year plus career in Bexar County politics, Larson has earned the nickname of 'Bexar County's Mr. Republican.' He has been a member of San Antonio City Council and Bexar County Commissioners Court, pushing conservative policies before being elected to the Legislature.
But Abbott clearly feels Larson will stand in the way of his priorities in the 2019 session.
"I know that he (Fails) will work with me to advance my plan to empower Texas voters to rein in skyrocketing property taxes for the people of his district," the governor said.
Abbott's endorsement against Larson was not unexpected. Larson earned the governor's evil eye during the 2017 session when he pushed an ethics in government bill which would have stripped the governor of a power he or she has enjoyed for decades, whether Democrat or Republican, the power to appoint people to key boards and appointments who donate money to the governor's political campaigns. Larson is also a friend and political ally of House Speaker Joe Straus, who helped kill several key movement conservative priorities in the 2017 session, from the bill limiting transgender bathroom rights to the measure to restrict public employee unionization.
Abbott has a $44 million plus campaign warchest, no primary opposition, and a group of misfits vying for the Democratic nomination for governor, and he has indicated to use that money, and his position as the single most popular statewide elected official in Texas, to remake the Republican Party into a more conservative mold.
Abbott saw many of his key priorities in the 2017 Legislature, like restricting local government property tax increases, killed not by Democrats, but by Republicans.