New Texas GOP chair expects 'great conservative session' in 2025 despite party fissure

The dust has settled from Texas' primary runoff elections and House Speaker Dade Phelan is keeping his seat.

Phelan beat out businessman David Covey in what will go down as one of the most expensive House race in state history.

Even though Phelan will have his seat in the House, there is a question over whether he will keep the speaker's gavel with many powerful members of the GOP, including Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and former president Donald Trump calling for new House leadership.

New Texas GOP chairman Abraham George sat down with FOX 4's Steven Dial to discuss the fight ahead of the legislative session in 2025.


ABRAHAM GEORGE: We're expecting a great conservative session, regardless of if Dade Phelan is going to be the speaker or not. I don't think he will, but he announced he is.

STEVEN DIAL: Do you think he will have the votes to be able to be the next speaker for the next session? 

GEORGE: I don't know. Here's the thing. The party has two major things: One is we need to have a speaker chosen from the Republican caucus, not with the Democrats, the other is we cannot have any Democrat chairs, so we're going to fight for that. Anyone who is willing to commit to that, the party will back them and say, stay out of this race because they're doing what the party is asking them to do. But if Dade Phelan or anyone else goes out and finds all the Democrats and brings them over and tells you I got the support, now we're going to go do this. We're just going to just say, no, that's not going to work for us. 

DIAL: Let's be clear. The lieutenant governor doesn't like Dade Phelan. Attorney General Ken Paxton doesn't like Dade Phelan. You supported his opponent, David Covey, with all of these leaders in the same party not supporting who could continue to be speaker, how is anything going to get passed? Do you expect there to be gridlock? 

GEORGE: Enough of them signed a contract with Texas. I think it's like 21 or 22 or something, along with the Freedom Caucus. I think there's plenty of people on our side. I don't think Dade Phelan gets to kill everything we want. Especially with Dan Patrick in the other chamber. He's going to push for it. We're going to it's going to be an interesting one, for sure. 

DIAL: Governor Abbott secured the needed number of House votes that he needs to pass through what he calls education savings accounts. Some people say school vouchers. Why is this a priority? Why do you think using public dollars for private education is something that Texans want?

GEORGE: You're bringing competition to the market, which brings quality out. So that's the idea. It's not going against public education, especially in some areas. I live in Collin County. We have some of the best ISDs out there. I don't think they're going to lose a lot of kids. I think, you know, like Wylie ISD or something. They're probably going to gain some children coming over from some other ISDs like Dallas or something like that. So I believe it's just opening up. It's not going from everything going from public to private. It could be going from one public ISD to another public ISD as well. So it's just empowering parents at this point because it comes to that point, mainly because ISDs were not doing what they're supposed to.

DIAL: I know when I talked to Governor Abbott, about a month ago, he said he believes the best deal was on the table, and they might not get that in 2025. Where do public schools come in when it comes to extra funding or more funding? 

GEORGE: There are areas in public schools that need more funding directed at teachers and school supplies, things like that, but a lot of that is going away from education to bureaucrats and the other areas where it's very bloated. So if ISDs and school board members can look at all their budget and say, all right, we're going to spend 70% of our funding to educate kids, not to have all of these bureaucratic programs out there. They will get a lot better. It's just simple math. It's a simple business decision they need to make.

I think this session is going to be a lot more conservative than the last two sessions, because we have a lot more conservatives on the ballot this time, and they're going to win.

DIAL: What is more conservative? I mean, the most, one of the strictest abortion laws passed. You got property tax passed. You got tons of border funding money. What can be more conservative?

GEORGE: Well, I don't know, Steven, If you looked at your tax, property tax from this year to last year, it hasn't changed much. Passing a bill that says we passed something that doesn't mean anything. It needs to mean something to the people. Our property tax is still going out. We got to find a way to stop that. We got to find a way to have people actually own their houses instead of renting it from the government.

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