State Rep. Scott Turner, a Frisco Republican, took his campaign for Texas House Speaker to conservative radio host Glenn Beck's show Monday, launching some of his sharpest criticisms to date of current Speaker Joe Straus.
“I came to the House to make a difference, not just in my district but in our state, and the way you make that difference is standing on your principles and your convictions and not being one that can be bought or sold out to the special interests or the lobby or what have you,” Turner told Beck. “I think that represents the speaker and I. I’m conservative. I have a record. I don’t just talk about it. I have a record of being conservative.”
A request for comment from Straus was not immediately answered.
In recent weeks, Turner’s challenge to Straus has floundered as nearly the entire House Republican caucus has publicly pledged to support Straus. Most of the chamber’s 52 Democrats are also expected to vote for the incumbent on the first day of the legislative session next month.
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Turner told Beck that, if he were speaker, more conservative legislation on school choice and immigration would reach the floor than Straus will allow.
Beck, who lives in the Dallas area and records his radio show there, made his support for Turner clear.
“Joe Straus is a complete and total fraud,” Beck said. “He is a RINO (Republican in Name Only). He is entirely a RINO. And I think Scott Turner is the guy to lead the state and the GOP into just a new unbelievable era.”
Beck ended the interview encouraging listeners in Texas to get involved in Turner’s campaign against Straus.
“I want you to call your state representative if you live in Texas,” Beck said, apparently unaware that the phone number he then provided listeners was for the Dallas district office of state Rep. Helen Giddings, a Democrat and likely Straus supporter.
Giddings’ office confirmed Monday that some of Beck’s listeners had heeded his command.
“All I can say is we did receive a number of calls, none of which were from District 109,” said Elaina Fowler, Giddings’ chief of staff, referring to Giddings' heavily Democratic district.