SAN ANTONIO – In a rare move, Gov. Greg Abbott is choosing to endorse a Republican challenger over a Republican incumbent in this year’s election.
Abbott was in San Antonio Wednesday ramping up support for Chris Fails, a state representative candidate in House District 122.
"Today is the day to ensure we take the next step to have more solid, conservative Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives by electing Chris Fails to be your next state representative of District 122," Abbott said as he addressed a crowd at the Alamo Cafe off Highway 281.
Fails, a former mayor of Hollywood Park, said he is humbled by the governor's support.
"It means a lot," Fails said. "It shows we're fighting on principles. It shows what we're working for, and just having him be a part of this campaign is huge."
"(Fails is) going to be supporting my agenda far better than what Lyle Larson has," Abbott said. "Larson has been categorized as one of the most liberal Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives."
KSAT reached out to current District 122 State Rep. Larson on Wednesday afternoon. Larson sent this statement in response to the governor's endorsement of Fails:
“I voted for 100% of the governor's legislative priorities and yet he's calling me a liberal. What does that make the governor? It's unbecoming of a governor to attack members of his own party in a primary. Let's be clear: He's attacking me because I passed legislation saying we should eliminate pay-to-play for gubernatorial appointments. Is that liberal or conservative? Voters will see through this. People in this district are fed up with my opponents and the governors (sic) negative ads.”
Fails is trying to unseat Larson in the March 6 primary election. The Democratic opponent is Claire Barnett.