The Harrison County Republican Party’s executive committee recently voted, 9-1, to censure State Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall).
Local party chair Lee Lester said the vote was spurred by Paddie’s seemingly lack of support to the party’s platform.
“He was censured in Harrison County,” said Lester. “We were kind of waiting to see if he did anything in this legislative session. We were hoping that he would and we wouldn’t have to do anything, but he’s still not representing the people who sent him.
“We’re in a representative republic, and he doesn’t represent us, so we have to do something,” said Lester.
The local party chair said Paddie has been invited to their meetings several times to entertain questions about his representation of House District 9, to no avail.
“He has not even responded to our request,” said Lester.
Thus, in accordance with Rule 44 of the Rules of the Republican Party of Texas, the executive committee voted to move forward with the censure, having duly offered Representative Paddie an invitation and opportunity to speak to such grievances, the censure states.
Paddie, who is now gearing up for a third special session in Austin, expressed his disappointment in the executive committee’s move to censure him.
“It is shameful that while the Legislature was busy passing Republican priorities, such as election integrity, pro-life legislation, and a 13th check for retired teachers, a handful of folks were busy trying to tear apart the Republican Party,” Paddie said in a statement to the News Messenger.
“Their misinformed censure motion is in contrast to the almost 80 percent of Harrison County Republican voters who supported me in the last primary,” said Paddie.
Paddie described the censure motion as a lie of omission, citing several examples of legislation which did not pass and choosing to ignore other pieces of legislation that he co-authored and supported relating to the same topics.
“This ignores the fact that the Legislature does not pass every bill when multiple are filed relating to a specific topic,” said Paddie.
Paddie continued his remarks, addressing his own grievances against local party leader Lester.
“Mr. Lester continues his mismanagement of the Harrison County Republican Party. In addition to holding non-public meetings and refusing any scrutiny of party finances, you can add sham censure attempts, conducted in violation of Republican Party rules, to his list of accomplishments,” said Paddie.
“Instead of trying to tear apart the Republican Party, I will continue working to deliver conservative victories and will let my record speak for itself,” Paddie added.
According to the censure, Rule 44 of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) allows the Party to sanction a Republican office holder who takes three or more actions during a biennium in opposition to the core principles of the Republican Party of Texas platform.
“Representative Chris Paddie has demonstrated a consistent pattern of actions demonstrably opposed to the first, second, fourth, ninth, and tenth core principles of the RPT Platform, by repeatedly voting contrary to these core principles, and abusing his authority as Chairman of the State Affairs Committee in the 87th Texas Legislature to thwart the advancement of bills favorable to these Core Principles,” the censure said.
The censure cited approximately 18 grievances against Paddie. The following grievances are:
- WHEREAS, Representative Bryan Slaton proposed Amendment No. 3 to HR 4, which would seek to compel the House Speaker to appoint Republican chairmen to the major committees in the House, and Representative Chris Paddie voted “NO” on this amendment; and
- WHEREAS, Representative Cody Vasut proposed Amendment No. 15 to HR 4, which would create an “Expedited Calendar” allowing a bill’s author to get one designated bill to the floor without it being killed in committee, and Representative Chris Paddie voted “NO” on this amendment; and
- WHEREAS, Representative Tony Tinderholt proposed Amendment No. 17 to HR 4, which would require the Calendars Committee to take a record vote for bills they had received but for which they chose to decline to place the bill on the calendar for a floor vote, and Representative Chris Paddie voted “NO” on this amendment; and
- WHEREAS, Representative Bryan Slaton proposed Amendment No. 19 to HR 4, which would make it out of order for the House to consider a bill or joint resolution naming a highway system, bridge, or street, unless the 87th Legislature had already voted on a bill or joint resolution abolishing abortion in Texas, and Representative Chris Paddie voted “NO” on this amendment; and
- WHEREAS, The consequences of the failure of such legislation will be measured in human lives; and
- WHEREAS, Representative Cody Vasut proposed Amendment No. 21 to HR 4, and Representative Kyle Biedermann proposed Amendment No. 22 to HR 4, both of which were related to restoring citizen access to the House and removing mask mandates under certain circumstances, and Representative Chris Paddie voted “NO” on both amendments; and
- WHEREAS, House Bill 1487 was introduced as a religious liberty protection bill, to ensure that in any future disaster or emergency, houses of worship would be protected and immune from being shut down or otherwise declared “nonessential,” and this bill was referred to Chairman Chris Paddie’s State Affairs Committee, but Chairman Paddie never brought the bill up for a committee vote, thereby ensuring this religious liberty bill died in his committee; and
- WHEREAS, Senate Bill 1606, a commonsense bipartisan electric grid integrity bill authored by 23 Senators led by Senator Bob Hall, was passed out of the Senate, received by the House, and referred to Chairman Chris Paddie’s State Affairs Committee on May 13, 2021, and
- WHEREAS, House Bill 3792 by Matt Shaheen, a bill in the House identical to Senate Bill 1606, was referred to Chairman Chris Paddie’s State Affairs Committee on March 22, 2021; and
- WHEREAS, Chairman Chris Paddie, ignoring the fact that the Texas electric grid came dangerously close to collapsing, endangering the lives of millions of Texans who are still vulnerable to another significant weather event, allowed both SB 1606 and HB 3792 to die in his committee without even a committee hearing; and this, after allowing the lives of millions of Texans to continue to be endangered with an insufficiently protected electric grid; and
- WHEREAS, House Bill 749, with forty-four (44) authors and co-authors, would ban taxpayer funded lobbying, which is a top priority of the Republican Party, was referred to Chairman Chris Paddie’s State Affairs Committee on March 1, 2021, and while it did get a public hearing in committee on March 25, 2021, it was left pending and ultimately died in committee, because Chairman Paddie refused to allow it to be voted out of committee to the floor; and
- WHEREAS, HB 2319 with fourteen (14) authors and co-authors, would similarly ban taxpayer funded lobbying, which is a top priority of the Republican Party, which was referred to Chairman Paddie’s State Affairs Committee on March 15, 2021, and was never brought up for a hearing, never given a vote, and died in his committee; and
- WHEREAS, Senate Bill 10, which would enact a solid ban on taxpayer funded lobbying, went through the regular bill process in the Senate, passed 17-13 out of the Senate, and once received by the House, was referred to Chairman Chris Paddie’s State Affairs Committee on April 20, 2021; and
- WHEREAS, The text of Senate Bill 10, as passed by the Senate, was replaced almost entirely by a Committee Substitute, authored by Chairman Chris Paddie, which not only did NOT ban taxpayer funded lobbying, but actually expanded it, by creating a new exemption for those in the legal profession from being required to register as a lobbyist with the Texas Ethics Commission; and
- WHEREAS, House Bill 1458, which would protect female athletes from having to compete against biological males in women’s sports, had four authors and 73 co-authors, one of which was Representative Chris Paddie; was referred to the State Affairs Committee on March 5, 2021; and
- WHEREAS, Despite House Bill 1458 having enough support to pass the floor, with a majority of the House signed on as author or co-author, including Chairman Chris Paddie himself, and despite numerous calls and texts and emails and letters and visits from grassroots activists and constitutes to Chairman Paddie urging passage, when HB 1458 was referred to his State Affairs Committee, he ensured that it died without even giving it a hearing, and without giving it a vote, thereby allowing gender confusion and degradation of girl’s and women’s sports to perpetuate; and
- WHEREAS, House Joint Resolution 113 (HJR 113) was referred to the State Affairs Committee on March 15, 2021, and which, if passed during the constitutional amendment election in November 2021, would extend right to life protection to all Texans, beginning at conception, in accordance with the second core principle and the related legislative priority, and
- WHEREAS, As Chairman of the State Affairs Committee, and despite numerous calls, texts, emails, and personal visits to his office by grassroots activists and constitutes seeking to have this HJR passed, Chris Paddie failed to bring HJR 113 to a vote in his committee, furthermore, he failed to even bring it up in any committee hearing during the 87th Legislature, and finally, he failed to demonstrate support for the resolution, which would allow the people of Texas to vote in November 2021, whether the lives of the unborn are entitled to right to life protections.
The censure will be forwarded to the chairman of the state party. It will then be sent to the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) for review.
“We request that the State Republican Executive Committee concur in this resolution of censure and impose on Representative Chris Paddie the full set of penalties provided in Rule 44 of the Rules of the Republican Party of Texas,” the censure states.
“If they vote to censure, then the state party will ask that he not file for reelection,” Lester explained. “If he does, it will allow the state party to spend funds in his counties to educate his constituents of how he has been voting and representing them.”
The censure further encouraged fellow Republican Party executive committees in the counties of Cass, Marion, Panola, Sabine and Shelby, which make up House District 9, to pass a similar resolution. The request is “to demonstrate the widespread dissatisfaction with the lack of representation we have received by Chris Paddie, and the solidarity of the grassroots in opposition to his continued status as our elected representative,” the censure states.