Although Texas State Representative Jonathan Stickland is retiring from the Texas State House, he’s not leaving quietly.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that during a stop in Arlington for the Jonathan Stickland Farewell Tour, the Bedford Republican boasted about killing more bills than any lawmaker in Texas history.
Many of the bills he killed were Republican bills.
Stickland took moderate Republicans to task, and even criticized U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Governor Greg Abbott.
In the middle of an impassioned speech at the Rolling Hills Country Club, Stickland asked 40 or so GOP members in the audience “How many of you are excited to go out, sweat, stress and give money to John Cornyn?”
The crowd initially responded with blank stares and silence, but then one club member yelled, “No!”
Stickland then said that Cornyn has to “to turn it up.”
The outgoing state representative said “He needs to turn it up. Or someone else get in (the race). Or something.”
Stickland did note that he won’t be that challenger against Cornyn, at least for 10 years “until my girls get out of the house,” making reference to his two younger daughters.
This comment came after he described the Texas Republicans’ strategy as “Run to the middle, and hope nobody notices us.”
He claims that the Texas Legislature just ended a “purple” session that did not fire up voters.
Stickland pinned the blame on Texas GOP leadership for this lukewarm session. He even singled out “Abbott, which may upset some people, but I’m just gonna name his name” for not delivering the goods.
“The pro-lifers, the pro-gun people, the fiscal conservatives, the social warriors” didn’t pull together, he claimed.
After Democrats had a surprisingly strong performance in 2018, he said that party leadership opted for “this crazy strategy of moving to the center.”
Stickland also called for gun control laws and stricter “ballot security” during this speech.
A new grassroots group — Lone Star Agenda — has emerged in the last week, sharing a similar agenda with Stickland.
On Facebook, Stickland wrote: “It looks like conservatives have had it with the lack of GOP leadership. … They’re putting together an actual plan to save Texas in 2020.”
Stickland’s concerns are quite valid.
After all, his hallmark legislation, Constitutional Carry, was killed by establishment House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
However, the Texas GOP cannot take its grassroots constituents for granted.
As the state becomes more electorally competitive, the GOP will need all the support it can get.
Many races will be determined by razor thin margins.
Ignoring the grassroots could be the difference between victory or defeat in these cases.
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