When Gov. Greg Abbott took the extraordinary step of endorsing conservative challengers to establishment lawmakers, John Nau III, Abbott’s campaign treasurer, undermined those efforts by sending campaign contributions to the liberal Republican lawmakers Abbott had endorsed against.
And now, Nau has endorsed a liberal Democrat for office.
Just days after State Rep. Carol Alvarado (D–Houston) announced her plans to run for the state Senate seat soon to be vacated by State Sen. Sylvia Garcia—a Houston Democrat who won the party’s primary to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Gene Green—Alvarado released a list of endorsements from Democrat elected officials, precinct chairs, and John Nau.
Nau serves as the President and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors, the nation’s largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products. During the legislative session, Nau and other large beer distributors successfully lobbied to pass HB 3287, which created restrictions on small breweries who sell their beer directly to consumers at taprooms.
Alvarado supported Nau’s anti-competition bill, which was eventually signed into law—serving as a catalyst for the creation of the Craft Brewers Guild to fight back against the influence of the “big beer” lobby in Austin.
Alvarado is one of the most liberal Democrats in the state House, scoring a 21 on the Fiscal Responsibility Index, only six points higher than the most liberal member.
So far, Alvarado is joined by one other Democrat in the race—State Rep. Ana Hernandez, also from Houston.
As a citizen and as the head of a large beer distributor, Nau obviously has the prerogative to support whichever candidates he chooses. By endorsing a liberal Democrat for the state Senate, however, Nau is giving even more reason for conservatives to wonder how committed he is to Abbott’s conservative agenda.