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Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan says he has a path to victory in primary runoff battle

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan confident of victory in primary runoff
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan confident of victory in primary runoff 02:13

DALLAS — Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan said this week he's extremely confident that he'll not only win his primary runoff, but that he will remain Speaker during the new legislative session beginning in January.

Phelan spoke with reporters about the May 28 runoff after an official event at UT Dallas on Tuesday. 

He said he has a path to victory over his primary challenger David Covey, who's being backed by Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and former President and Republican frontrunner for President, Donald Trump. 

Those three have criticized Phelan for allowing the impeachment against Paxton to take place in the House.

Phelan appeared at UT Dallas with Governor Greg Abbott, who has stayed on the sidelines of this primary battle and has not endorsed Phelan.

The Governor's Office announced Friday that both Abbott and Phelan will appear together again this Tuesday for what's described as "a major announcement" at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Reporters asked Phelan how he felt about Abbott not backing his re-election bid. 

"No, I'm not in any way disappointed at all," responded Phelan. 

There's the 'Big 3' and typically, we stay out of each other's races. That's been the tradition here in the state of Texas. Of course, the Lt. Governor decided not to follow that tradition. He crossed that Rubicon and that's his issue going forward with the Texas House."

Back in December, Lt. Governor Patrick told CBS News Texas that he would not get involved in the Speaker's race, but his campaign spokesman said that changed after Mr. Trump endorsed Covey.

The Lt. Governor serves as the Texas Chairman of Trump's campaign in the Lone Star State, and Patrick's spokesman said it's the Lt. Governor's job to spread the word.

Another Republican House member, Dr. Tom Oliverson of the Houston area, has announced he will also run to become Speaker of the House.

The race becomes more intense after the November election and House members will vote on a new Speaker when they're sworn-in in January.

Phelan also took a verbal shot at Ken Paxton.

What he said about Paxton coming up on Eye On Politics at 7:30 a.m. Sunday on CBS News Texas on air and streaming.

Also this week, Democrats are making abortion rights a political issue this November nationally and here in Texas.

We spoke with Regina Montoya of Dallas, a Co-Chair of the Women's Leadership Forum at the Democratic National Committee and Republican State Senator Bryan Hughes of Tyler, who wrote the state's abortion laws.

Follow Jack on X: @cbs11jack 

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