It's not unusual for former opponents to turn around and endorse their party's candidates, or to go quiet in general elections — to say nothing at all. But it's unusual to endorse the other party's general election candidates. And yet, that's happening in several Texas races this year.
A year after the Texas Freedom Caucus first launched, the bloc of hardline conservatives in the Texas House is optimistic it will broaden its membership before state lawmakers head back to Austin in 2019.
State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, who drew national attention as part of an incident on the Texas House floor in which he said he reported protesters to ICE, represents one of 10 Republican-held House districts that Hillary Clinton won last year.
On the last day of the regular session of the Texas Legislature, hundreds protested at the Capitol — and Republican state Rep. Matt Rinaldi called ICE on them. He also nearly came to blows with Democratic colleagues.
Here's video of our "Really, How Conservative Was the 84th Session?" panel from Oct. 17 at The 2015 Texas Tribune Festival. Panelists included State Sens. Paul Bettencourt and Konni Burton and state Reps. Stephanie Klick, Matt Rinaldi and Jonathan Stickland.
At our 1/14 conversation, new state Reps. Celia Israel, D-Austin, Linda Koop, R-Dallas, and Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving, talked about the comptroller's revenue estimate and how they'll approach the task of passing a budget.
Here's video of our 84th Legislature preview session on what the Tea Party is seeking. Panelists included state Sens.-elect Paul Bettencourt and Konni Burton, state Rep. Jeff Leach, state Rep.-elect Matt Rinaldi and state Rep. Jonathan Stickland.