Texas Republicans Turn on Speaker Dade Phelan After Failed Impeachment of Ken Paxton

House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, gavels through routine procedural votes in the final minutes of the 87th Legislative Session that ended sine die on May 31, 2021. Photo: Dallas Morning News

Phelan’s “Loyalty Vote” Impeachment Process Was a Debacle

On Saturday, September 9, 2023, the Texas Senate acquitted Attorney General Ken Paxton of all 20 articles of impeachment. The impeachment process was widely seen as a political witch hunt, and Phelan’s role in it has drawn the ire of conservatives.

In the lead-up to the impeachment vote, Phelan pressured Republican House members to support it, even though many of them had concerns about the process. He also made it clear that he would retaliate against those who voted against impeachment.

In the end, 61 Democrats and 60 Republicans voted for impeachment, while 23 Republicans opposed it. One Democrat and one Republican abstained from voting.

After Paxton was acquitted, Phelan released a statement doubling down on his claims against the attorney general. He also accused the Senate of “cheating the people of Texas of justice.”


Phelan’s statement has been met with widespread criticism from conservatives. State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) said that Phelan should “immediately resign” or be removed from his position by the House.

“He has destroyed the legitimacy and integrity of the Texas House and the history of it, along with those who serve and have served within its walls for the people of Texas,” Tinderholt said.

Former President Donald Trump also called for Phelan’s removal.

“It is time that Speaker Dade Phelan resign after pushing this Disgraceful Sham!” Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social.

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State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) said that Phelan’s impeachment process was a “leadership failure” and that the House “sure has a lot of challenges that haven’t been addressed.”

“The only response from Speaker Phelan and the Texas House should be humility,” Schaefer said.

State Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) said that Phelan and his allies “lied” to House members about the impeachment process.

“They lied and now these House Members will face the scorn of voters in March,” Toth wrote.

Political analyst Luke Macias said that conservatives are “rallying around ousting the status quo” and that “Democrat chairs have to go, and the Texas House has to wake up.”

Filing for the 2024 primary election begins on Saturday, November 11, 2023, and closes at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 11, 2023.

Source: Michael Quinn Sullivan on X (@MQSullivan)

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