Two Texas Republicans have seen their primary opponents endorse their Democratic challengers, a move some believe exposes a divide within the state GOP.
Former land commissioner Jerry Patterson insists his campaign against current General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush is more Texas over party than any sour grapes for losing his seat to Bush four years ago.
“The Alamo, Hurricane Harvey, public school funding from the state Board of Education is on the wrong track,” he says.
Besides, he's not the only Republican voting against Bush.
“George P. Bush's primary opponent in 2014, David Watts, and also my colleague primary opponents in 2018, Davey Edwards and Rick Range, both decided they're not going to support him, they're going to vote for somebody else,” says Patterson.
Vlad Davidiuk, spokesman for the Harris County Republican Party, says this kind of 'independent thinking' is why the GOP rules in Texas.
“That's something you typically don't see on the Democratic side of the aisle, but that's also a very strong indication that Republican independent thinkers,” he says. “Republicans are able to determine for themselves who they want to support, and who they wish to endorse.”
“That's one reason why they've really sunk to a new low in Texas. They lost grip of a district they held for almost 150 years,” says Davidiuk, citing Republican Pete Flore's recent victory in a special election in state Senate District 19 which stretches from San Antonio into West Texas.