Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is trying to recover from some of the political wounds he suffered this week in the state’s Republican Party primary.
You see, the governor took a most unusual step in endorsing three challengers to Republican legislative incumbents. It’s highly strange for politicians to take sides within their own party. Abbott sought to get rid of three legislators who oppose many of his policies.
Oops! It didn’t work … mostly. State Reps. Sarah Davis and Lyle Larson won their primary races. Rep. Wayne Faircloth lost his primary contest.
So now the governor wants the party to “unify” behind its slate of candidates running against Democrats this fall.
As the Texas Tribune reports: “Now that the primary’s over, I think it’s very important that the Republican Party come together as one and work together all the way through the November to make sure that we win the elections in November,” Abbott said.
We live in politically contentious times. The Republican Party is being redefined at the very top of the food chain, by the president of the United States. Donald Trump has imposed protectionist trade tariffs that run totally counter to traditional GOP orthodoxy.
That tumult has splashed over state politics as well. Consider the intraparty battles that occurred throughout Texas during this primary season. Popular incumbents received GOP primary challenges in all corners of the state, including in rock-solid Republican Texas Panhandle legislative districts.
This tells me that the “unity” that Gov. Abbott seeks might be a bit more difficult to obtain that it might be in a “normal political climate.”
Ain’t nothing “normal” about what we’re watching transpire within this once-great political party.