Texas Speaker Wins Re-election in Close Runoff Contest

Texas Speaker Wins Re-election in Close Runoff Contest

With his opponent conceding in a speech to his supporters last night, Dade Phelan (R) has survived an expensive primary runoff election. Results from the runoff are close: according to the Texas Tribune, with all precincts reporting, Phelan has an advantage of 366 votes.

During a victory speech, Phelan stated, “I will be your state rep for HD 21 and I will be your speaker for the Texas House in 2025.” While there is no Democratic challenger for the general election–this secures the seat for Phelan–he still needs to be elected by House members for the speakership.

Folks on the ground in Austin believe Phelan can whip the votes to keep his leadership position. Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has already begun campaigning against him: "To those considering supporting Dade Phelan as Speaker in 2025, ask your 15 colleagues who lost re-election how they feel about their decision now," Paxton said. "You will not return if you vote for Dade Phelan again."

House members will elect leadership in January 2025.


Way back on March 5, Texas voters were witness to what would become some of the fiercest Republican legislative primaries in the country. As we previously covered, intraparty conflict led to 16 Republicans, including Speaker Dade Phelan, having primary challengers. With his support of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s (R) impeachment and his willingness to work with the other side of the isle, Phelan has drawn the primary ire of the more conservative faction of the party, which includes his counterpart in the state senate, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R).

Former President Donald Trump (R), Patrick, and Paxton all endorsed Phelan’s challenger, David Covey, while former Governor Rick Perry (R) campaigned for Phelan. In the end, Neither Phelan nor Covey secured enough votes to win the primary outright: Both candidates moved on to the May 28 runoff.