- By Jonathan Tilove American-Statesman Staff
Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday endorsed state Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, for re-election.
It was the first of what the governor has promised to be a number of endorsements in contested GOP primary races on behalf of legislative allies, and perhaps also, in support of challengers who he finds to be more in sync with his agenda.
Workman is being challenged in the Republican primary by Jay Wiley, who has been endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and portrays Workman as an ally of House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio.
In a video endorsement of Workman, Abbott says that, “Texas is a place of freedom and opportunity because of our commitment to conservative values. We need principled leaders who will fight for those values. That is why I am proud to support Paul Workman for re-election as the state representative for House District 47.”
“As a successful small businessman, he understands what it takes to create greater economic opportunity,” Abbott says. “Paul is a proven leader and an effective legislator who has worked with me to protect private property rights, cut taxes and secure our border. He is a principled conservative and someone the voters of House District 47 can count on to fight for them.”
Since Straus announced that he would not be seeking re-election, Wiley has told supporters that it is essential that a Straus lieutenant not be elected speaker in the next session.
Workman, who was first elected in 2010, defeated Wiley, 61 percent to 39 percent, in the 2016 Republican primary.