AUSTIN, TEXAS–Fourteen conservative Republican members of the Texas House of Representatives have sent a letter to State Rep. Dan Branch asking that he withdraw from the runoff election race for Texas Attorney General. The result of the primary election on March 4th showed State Senator Ken Paxton in first place with a double digit lead over Branch who finished second in a three-way race.
In a call for party unity and moving the battle to defeating Democrats in the November General Election, the 14 State Reps said in a letter received by Breitbart Texas, “As your colleagues in the Texas Legislature, today we call on you to respectfully consider withdrawing from the race for Texas Attorney General.”
The letter asks Branch to avoid a costly and potentially more divisive runoff election and states that “moving forward with this continued campaign is not in the best interests of you, our party, or the state we know you dearly love.”
The authors of the letter argued, “The millions of dollars that would be spent by your campaign characterized by negative ads aimed at Senator Paxton servers no legitimate or helpful purpose, especially when considering Senator Paxton’s strong support reflected in the Republican Primary Election last week.”
The letter cites Paxton’s success in winning 19 of the 20 most populated counties and a strong first-place finish in 9 of the top 10 GOP counties including Branch’s home county, Dallas County. Additionally, the letter claims Senator Paxton won 50 of the top 75 Republican counties representing about 85 percent of the GOP vote.
The Texas Secretary of State’s Office election results page reflects that Sen. Paxton received 44.44 percent of the vote compared to Rep. Branch’s 33.49 percent. Out of 1,273,733 Republican votes cast, Paxton was 141,545 votes from winning without a runoff.
The letter references the class move by State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran in his decision last Friday to withdraw from the State Comptrollers race and his endorsement of his former opponent, Sen. Glenn Hegar.
In urging Branch to withdraw, the signing Reps said, “Should you choose to do so, you will earn the lasting respect and admiration of Texans all across our state as we band together as Republican and fight to Keep Texas Red!”
The letter is signed by Representatives, Pat Fallon, Dan Flynn, Bryan Hughes, Phil King, Jodie Laubenberg, Jeff Leach, Charles Perry, Scott Sanford, Matt Schaefer, Jonathan Stickland, Van Taylor, Steve Toth, James White and Bill Zedler.
The third candidate in the race, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman, conceded the election to his opponents Tuesday night but does not appear at this time to have made an endorsement in a prospective runoff election.
A Breitbart Texas call to Rep. Branch’s campaign office was not immediately returned.
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