Washington Examiner

Texas Governor Abbott campaigns against former allies to support school vouchers

Governor ⁤Greg Abbott is prioritizing the election of candidates supporting his school voucher program this cycle. Despite⁢ his party’s majority strengthening and efforts for school choice, the proposal faced opposition ⁤in 2023. Abbott ​now campaigns⁤ against party members against vouchers, making a significant impact on​ Texas⁤ politics. Campaign ⁣spending and outside‌ influences have marked this election cycle significantly.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s top priority this election cycle is to help elect candidates who will support his creation of a school voucher program.

While Abbott’s party bolstered majorities in both chambers and he called special sessions to discuss school choice, the proposal was repeatedly shut down in 2023.

Now, Abbott is campaigning against members of his own party who are against school vouchers. During the Republican primary in March, Abbott helped defeat seven incumbents and is promoting candidates in support of his agenda in runoff races next week.

“It’s just so unusual for an incumbent governor to campaign against members of his own party,” John Colyandro, a Texas lobbyist and former top aide to Abbott, told Politico. “He was the pivot around which everything turned here.”

During a typical election year, Abbott would spend around $500,000 for primaries, but so far this election cycle, the Abbott campaign is projected to spend around $11 million during the primary races, including $4 million on just the runoffs. Typically, Texas state legislature races cost around $25,000, but this year it’s averaging upward of $1 million — all thanks to outside special interest groups.

So far, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s PAC, the American Federation for Children Victory Fund has spent $4.5 million on the races — accounting for nearly half of what the PAC promised to spend nationwide this election cycle. The PAC has helped knock off ten of 13 anti-school-choice lawmakers from winning their race or now are forced into a runoff. Last year, Pennsylvania billionaire Jeff Yass, a major school-choice advocate, wrote a check to Abbott for $6 million. In addition, the Family Empowerment Coalition PAC, which launched just in June 2023, is focused on promoting school-choice supporters from both parties and has dropped $1.4 million this election cycle.

These PACs have focused their efforts on distributing mailers, texts, and advertisements that aren’t necessarily focused on school choice but instead attack Republican incumbents for not truly being a conservative — a move that is often misleading.

Rep. Glenn Rogers, who lost his primary to an Abbott-backed challenger, was accused in mailers paid for by Libertarian PAC Make Liberty Win that he was “anti-gun” and warned that “if we don’t vote Rogers out, he will only drift further left.”


“If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes truth to a low-information voter,” Rogers said. “Unfortunately we have a lot of low-information voters. That doesn’t have anything to do with their mental ability, it has to do with them keeping up. Eventually, it becomes true in their minds.”

According to Abbott’s estimate, the Texas House has 74 votes in favor of school-choice based on those candidates that won their primary race and those that reached a runoff. However, the governor is still just two House votes away from passing school vouchers in Texas.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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