GRANBURY, Texas—Things are definitely heating up in the race for Texas House District 60, a seat currently being held by “Taxpayer Champion” Mike Lang (R-Granbury).
On Tuesday, the Hood County Republican Party’s Executive Committee voted unanimously to issue a vote of no confidence in Jim Largent, the current superintendent of Granbury ISD and Lang’s opponent in the Republican primary.
In a copy of the resolution obtained by Texas Scorecard, the opening line refers to Largent as a “self-proclaimed” Republican while the end of the resolution pungently shapes the Hood County GOP’s objection to his placement on the Republican ballot, stating;
“[The] Hood County Republican Executive Committee hereby OBJECTS to Jim Largent running for office as a Republican in Hood County, Texas…[and] enters into the record a vote of “No Confidence” regarding Jim Largent’s candidacy as an alleged Republican and hereby officially withdraws any and all support to Jim Largent in his bid to seek election to HD 60 as a state representative.”
Largent announced his intent to challenge Lang in the Republican Primary at the eleventh hour—just minutes before the filing deadline in December. His reason for running? Largent alleges Lang refused to meet with him, doesn’t listen to his constituents, and has been absent in the district.
Lang disputed the claims in a radio interview with Brownwood’s KXYL where he stated, “Just because I don’t agree with you, doesn’t mean I am absent.” Lang says he’s met with Largent several times and, after listening to his concerns, informed him he did not agree with his request to support big government, tax and spend policies in the Texas Legislature.
To counter the claim Lang has refused to meet with Largent, the representative’s campaign supplied a photo of the superintendent presenting him a Granbury ISD football helmet at his office in Austin. Lang’s campaign also noted that he has met with Largent and other GISD administrators and elected officials on multiple occasions.
Largent’s claims, while dishonest, have successfully percolated through Hood County where they’ve incensed Republican activists and spurred them into action.
Preforming a vote of no confidence resolution on a candidate who does not hold office is a bold move that has yet to be seen in Texas politics and could change the landscape for future Republican party primaries in Texas. Such efforts could be used to punish candidates who seek to gain an advantage in the GOP primary by turning out Democrat voters.
Battleground Texas, a liberal organization that came to Texas in order to assist Democrat Wendy Davis in her campaign for governor, has been working feverishly to “Turn Texas Blue.” They along with groups like “Pastors for Texas Children” and “Texans for Public Education” are One of the ways democrats are attempting to accomplish this goal is by taking over the Republican party primary.
Area Democrats in Hood County including liberal activist Mendi McPherson Tackett (wife of current GISD School Board Member Chris Tackett) have been pushing their support for Largent for some time, with some taking to social media to lure Democrats to take over the Republican Primary.
Other Democrats have even been as bold as to slap Largent’s name up with other Democrats as if it was a slate such as the following tweet with US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) challenger, socialist Democrat Beto O’Rourke, alongside “self-proclaimed Republican” Jim Largent stating, “This one is important!”
According to an advanced copy of a press release from Hood County Republican Party, the reasons by which the resolution is necessary is clear:
“We, the Republican Executive Committee of Hood County, voted in open session to withdraw any support for the candidacy of Dr. James Largent in the Republican Primary Race for Texas State House District 60. He has failed the basic test of commitment to the Republican Platform and openly advocates against a major plank of the platform. He has publicly disparaged honorable Republican State office holders who are upholding their commitment to the platform and the Republican voters. We also do hereby encourage Republican voters in Hood County to withdraw support for the primary candidacy of Dr. James Largent as well,” stated Hood County GOP Chair Jim Logan.
“We take Resolutions of No Confidence seriously in Hood County. When filing to run for office, Dr. James Largent was given the Republican Party of Texas Platform and Republican Caucus Speaker Selection Commitment Form, both are readily available online for anyone to review,” he continued.
In addition to opposition of openness and transparency as GISD Superintendent, Largent “refuses to cooperate and has engaged in bureaucratic stalling of numerous Open Records Requests submitted by numerous persons.”
Like many activists within the Hood County GOP, Texas Scorecard has also had open records requests waylaid by Largent and the GISD administration—all while he appears to conduct campaign activity during work hours.
Lang was elected to the Texas Legislature in 2016—replacing notoriously liberal Republican lawmaker Jim Keffer of Eastland who declined to run for re-election. A charter member of the Texas Freedom Caucus, Lang compiled an impressive record of standing up for taxpayers and fighting to protect the rights of citizens, efforts which earned him a 100 on the Fiscal Responsibility Index.
He has been endorsed for re-election by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Gov Greg Abbott, Texas Right to Life, Young Conservatives of Texas, Texas Homeschool Coalition, and State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R—Granbury).