Hoping speaker survives

An earlier post on this blog noted the absence of signage extolling the candidacy of the POTUS No. 45.

I want to discuss briefly another candidate who is showing plenty of lawn-sign support in the city he represents in the Texas Legislature.

Dade Phelan is running for re-election against David Covey for the House of Representatives in Beaumont. Phelan also doubles as speaker of the lower legislative chamber. This contest — to borrow a phrase once muttered by the current president — is a big fu**ing deal.

I noticed many lawn signs adorning neighborhoods throughout north and west Beaumont. Virtually all of ’em were for Phelan. I saw one Covey sign near Interstate 10.

Why is this a big deal? Because Covey has no experience as a legislator. He is a stalking horse candidate, a MAGA loyalist, a pal of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Covey has never run for public office. Yet he finished first in the Republican Party primary in March; Phelan finished second. Covey didn’t reach the 50% mark to win the primary outright, so Phelan and Covey are now in a runoff.

I have heard from two sources, one of whom serves in the House with Phelan, that Covey well might knock the speaker out of office in the May 28 runoff. The other source happens to be a former newspaper colleague of mine who lives in Beaumont who echoed my legislative friend’s assessment.

The political advertising in Beaumont has been ferocious … and dishonest. One ad features a doctored photo showing former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hugging Phelan’s neck, suggesting that Phelan is a closet liberal. Good grief, man! He isn’t!

I don’t know Dade Phelan. I left Beaumont nearly 30 years ago. I am acquainted with his dad, a well-heeled real estate developer in Beaumont. What I know of the younger Phelan is that he is a mainstream conservative who allowed the House to work its will in impeaching Paxton on charges of corruption, and who eventually survived the Senate trial.

Do I have a dog in this fight? Not really, I suppose, except that the Legislature serves all Texans. I am alarmed at the MAGA movement’s encroachment in local politics. Therefore, I don’t want to see Dade Phelan booted from the Texas House because he allowed his colleagues to do what they believed was right.

Thus, I hope the plethora of signs bodes well for Speaker Phelan.