The Texas Municipal Police Association, the state’s largest law enforcement association, has endorsed Andy Cargile, a local school board trustee and retired high school principal, in his bid to unseat state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford.
“We are confident that Andy Cargile will be a strong voice for law enforcement in the Texas Legislature, someone who will stand for law and order and enable those men and women to have the tools needed to fight the evil that exists,” Lon Craft, the group's director of legislative affairs, said Tuesday in a statement.
The group was critical of Stickland, a Tea Party conservative who won election to the House District 92 seat by a wide margin in 2012, calling him “one of the worst State Representatives in Texas history.”
The police association knocked Stickland for voting against two bills it supported. That includes HB 1010, a failed bill that would have made it a misdemeanor offense for an adult to “knowingly cause physical contact with a child that a reasonable person would regard as offensive and sexual in nature.”
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Stickland also voted against HB 124, which banned the sale of the hallucinogenic herb Salvia divinorum.
A request for comment from Stickland's campaign was not immediately returned.
The race is being closely watched because it pits Stickland’s Tea Party faction of the Republican Party against the mainstream conservatives who support Cargile.
Stickland released his first television ad this week, which says he has kept his word to conservative voters.
"Jonathan Stickland helped stop the expansion of Obamacare in Texas, fought wasteful spending, was named a taxpayer champion and worked to pass landmark pro-life legislation,” the ad says.
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