Republicans spank ‘Big Ed’ candidate with no-confidence vote

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A school superintendent running as a Republican for the Texas House was slapped with a “no confidence” vote by the local party this week.

Granbury ISD Superintendent James Largent called the move “shameful.”

Hood County GOP Chairman Jim Logan said Largent had it coming.

“To our knowledge, he has never participated in local or state Republican Party activities. He has said he disagrees with most of the party platform, and openly disparages Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick,” Logan told The Texas Monitor in an interview.

As a result, the executive committee of the local party issued a unanimous vote of no confidence in Largent in the House District 60 race.

State Rep. Mike Lang is running for re-election in HD 60 against Largent and Gregory Risse in the March 6 primary.

State Republican Party Chairman James Dickey said he was not aware of another no-confidence vote in a Texas House race.

The Hood County district is among the most conservative in the state, but Largent says the local Republican leadership “does not represent the true, hard-working conservative people.”

In an email to The Texas Monitor, Largent “pledge[d] my allegiance to the Constitution, Jesus Christ and the people who live in House District 60.”

Logan suspects that Largent’s GOP affiliation is strategic, not sincere.

“He’s more in line with Democrats, but knows that 70 percent of voters in this district are Republican. He’s out of touch with the Republican base, and that gives us some heartburn,” Logan said.

Largent has declined to sign the House Speaker commitment form to support the selection of the next House leader in the House GOP caucus.

Lang, by contrast, has signed the pledge, gets top marks from conservative groups and is a charter member of the Texas Freedom Caucus.

Largent, 52, does not hide his politics. Opining regularly on the Granbury ISD website, the superintendent’s commentaries echo increasingly shrill attacks from the state’s “Big Ed” establishment.

In a post titled “Conservative Leadership,” the superintendent defends forced collection of union dues, assails school choice legislation and attacks state Republicans, ridiculing Abbott and Patrick.

Slamming the so-called “bathroom bill” last session, Largent wrote that Patrick “does not understand the transgender issue.”

Hood County residents question whether the superintendent understands the boundaries of professional ethics.

Plumping for an $85 million school bond, Largent emailed teachers urging them to call parents to support the debt package at the polls. Some instructors balked at the political gambit, and public-records requests into Largent’s official correspondence are pending with the district.

Meantime, Hood County Democrats, including the wife of a GISD School Board member, are actively pushing their support for Largent.

“He’ll attend Democratic Party meetings and has declined our invitations,” Logan noted.

Last year, Largent declared: “I am very concerned that too many politicians today are taking marching orders from powerful special interests and no longer represent the people who elected them.”

“When politicians care more about pleasing a handful of wealthy elites than standing up for their districts, communities like ours lose our representation.”

The broadside reflected the growing political divide between Texas’ billion-dollar education establishment that touts “local control” and conservative lawmakers who challenge local taxing and spending policies.

In his email to The Texas Monitor on Friday, Largent tried a more conciliatory tone.

“I Iook forward to working with (Abbott and Patrick) in the House to develop conservative policy that demonstrates a Republican commitment to education and economic development, especially in our rural areas,” he wrote.

Largent has said he will remain superintendent during the campaign and will retire if elected.

Kenric Ward can be reached [email protected]

41 COMMENTS

    • They’re not fake republicans- you can deny them all you want if that makes you feel better- but the fact still remain that they are republicans.
      I’ve got a few here in San Jacinto County that are “real republicans” even used the term in their campaigns. And our Real Republican” judge likes to break into county offices, forge records and swipe road work materials for his own personal use. Not to mention that during Harvey our state rep had to step in and do the judges job- and from the reports I heard- judge was home pulling a three day drunk while the people in our county were in danger.
      Yeah they’re real republicans, your denial of them makes no difference- they ran on the republican ticket and the people of Texas blindly vote for them because of the “R” after their name in the ballot.
      If you’re a Republican and vote straight ticket, you own them weither you like what they’re doing or not.

    • Mellie Morrison I merely meant if a person holds views not consistent with the republican party I want them to stand up and say I’m independent or I’m democrat. No fake Republicans… Thinking John McCain and Mitch McConnel. Just weary of people being without convictions… Posers for power. I was foolishly being general in a specific forum

  1. The Republican Party in Texas has been taken over by nut jobs who are neither Christian or conservative. They are extremists with self-serving agendas. It’s about time someone sensible is added to the Republican ticket. Too many of them have dropped out rather than wrangle in the mud with a bunch of unscrupulous scoundrels.

    • Extremists?? Define. Oppose abortion. Want to limit taxes. Care about law and order. Support police. Want our border secured. What exactly is extreme???? Or is it just that you don’t agree?

    • Yes I support Trump… With ALL my heart. And I DO watch actions and voting records… Not just speeches. I like the way my reps vote. I love a thriving economy and personal freedom and safe guarding the constitution. So yeah.

    • Folks, while we’re focused on the greed and corruption at the national level, the same thing is happening in our own state. Crazed with power and religious zeal, Texas right wing extremists are pressuring Republicans to sign a loyalty oath to support the platform and whoever the party puts up for Speaker. You can imagine the implications: Religious hate legislation like the bathroom bill will sail through. Never mind that virtually every school superintendent, police chief and Chamber of Commerce is against it. The aim is to divide our state like Washington DC so representatives are loyal to the party, not the people. And every vote goes down party lines. And Texas becomes the same shithole of ineffectiveness as the federal government, where the politicians win and the people eat s___.

  2. Have backed the GOP all my life… until now. Tea Party leadership can only eliminate a differing view not face it. If their actions could stand the light of day they would engage in an old fashioned deal called “debate”. Back in the old days they used to include that in a parliamentary procedure kind of thing where two sides of an issue worked to solve problems and stuff…

    • I don’t watch a lot but what I do see is “formal” government meetings stray way off from parliamentary procedure, as I know it anyway. Maybe we are just laid back country folk who don’t know any better Mr Henson. I doubt it, but who knows.

    • John Pledger … I have about decided to go down swinging. Perhaps a little well worded historical prospective from us old codgers could steer us around the wreck we can see coming, John.

    • So you’re saying you’re upset because somebody running as a Republican isn’t a Republican and the Republican Party doesn’t like it, right?… 🤔

      If people in the district agree with what he has to say, he will win. Most people don’t pay attention to this backroom squabbling. They listen to the ads and they make their choice.

    • No, most pick a party and push a button… never examine an issue. They assume Party leadership is getting it right… easier that way. Republican leadership today wants a commitment from potential House members to support an unnamed candidate for Speaker… even though he/ she might be a jerk… I am just not interested in my representative surrendering their opportunity to examine the facts and come to a conclusion that might be different from someone that might not have the best interest of our state/district at heart. My specific concern is ties with Party leadership and corporate interest.

  3. Good luck Mr. Largent. In our gerrymandered state.
    I guess Republicans want candidates who they can tell what to do and apparently you don’t have that rubber stamp on your forehead.

    • Under democrat rule house districts were gerrymandered to the point the house contingent going to DC remained solidly democrat even though not a single democrat could win a statewide office. This was in the late 90s.

      Why wouldn’t a majority of house and senate members in the Statehouse be Republican when democrats have yet to win a single statewide election?…

    • Richard Pipkin… We don’t use facts and logic with dems. They “feel” their truth… If it doesn’t “seem” right or make them “feel” good it isn’t right or true. Facts mean Nada. 🙂

    • Gerrymandering does not hurt Democrats, it is the overwhelming CONSERVATIVE VOTERS, that hurts liberal socialist GOD rejecting, pervert and thug supporting, innocent unborn baby murdering Democrats !! Pat Morgan

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