Watch CBS News

House Speaker Dade Phelan narrowly wins in Texas primary runoff election

House Speaker Dade Phelan survives brutal primary challenge
House Speaker Dade Phelan survives brutal primary challenge 04:02

AUSTIN – House Speaker Dade Phelan survived a brutal challenge on Tuesday's Texas primary runoff election, winning the Republican party nomination for the legislature's District 21 seat, but only by a handful of votes. 

Phelan won with 51% of the vote while his challenger, David Covey had the remaining 49%. Phelan took the election by 366 votes.

Texans decided on Tuesday which Democrats and Republicans they want to see in the November ballot after candidates in several key races failed to receive more than 50% of the vote in the March 5 primary election. 

"I am immensely grateful to the voters of Southeast Texas, who have spoken loud and clear: in Southeast Texas, we set our own course—our community is not for sale, and our values are not up for auction," Phelan said in a statement. "I owe a profound debt of gratitude to every voter and volunteer whose relentless dedication turned that vision into tonight's resounding victory."

Phelan was backed by Gov. Greg Abbott, who congratulated him on his win Tuesday night. Covey was supported by big-name Republicans including Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and former President Donald Trump. 

Paxton is a known critic of Phelan. Just over a year ago, Paxton called for Phelan to resign after accusing him of presiding over the House while intoxicated. 

The Texas House speaker has control over how the house is run and who the committee chairs are.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.