The Texas Republican Party’s factions are appearing in the race for Texas House District 55.
Three Republican candidates are vying to be Bell County’s next lawmaker. There’s incumbent state Rep. Hugh Shine, Open Carry Texas founder CJ Grisham and Calvary Chapel Rev. Brandon Hall.
District 55’s next representative will almost certainly be determined in this primary. No Democrats are running in the November election.
Like many of the roughly two dozen GOP races for the House in which an incumbent is being flanked to the right by challengers, this race could boil down to one question: Who is the truest conservative?
Grisham and Hall say Shine’s voting record in the regular and special sessions of the 85th Legislature runs contrary to the conservative principles he ran on in 2016. Shine, however, disputes their claims, saying he is proud of his record and he has properly represented the district as a conservative.
Voters will decide the answer to that question on March 6.
Each candidate has his own definition for what it means to be “conservative.”
“The definition of conservative, obviously, is different among different groups of people,” Shine said. “To me, a conservative is someone who adheres to the principles of less government, self-reliance, religious freedoms and traditional values. It’s one thing to claim to be a conservative and another to have an actual record of delivering conservative results.”
The three-term legislator pointed to his support of legislation that delivered anti-abortion and pro-Second Amendment policy to the state as well as securing a balanced budget as delivering those conservative results.
Grisham said, “My definition of conservative is someone who will defend smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom. That’s really it. If it doesn’t involve smaller government, if it doesn’t…