Rep. Matt Rinaldi’s campaign announced he has been endorsed by 26 legislators, including Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), the chairman of the House Republican Caucus. Of the 21 House endorsers, 15 voted for Rep. Scott Turner (R-Frisco) for Speaker on the opening day of the 84th Legislature. Joining them are Reps. James Frank (R-Flower Mound), Phil King (R-Weatherford), Jodie Laubenberg (R-Wylie), Parker, Mike Schofield (R-Katy) and Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R-Dallas). Of those, only Laubenberg faces a primary opponent.
Five senators have endorsed Rinaldi: Konni Burton (R-Fort Worth), Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), Don Huffines (R-Dallas) and Van Taylor (R-Plano).
Ratliff’s campaign website lists several dozen endorsements from current and former local elected officials, including Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt and Farmers Branch Mayor Bob Phelps. As far as we can tell, no incumbent legislators are listed on his website. At least a dozen legislators backed Ratliff in 2014 when he was seeking re-election to a second term.
This is the third primary, and second head-to-head, meeting between Rinaldi and Ratliff. In 2012, Ratliff came in second (30%) and Rinaldi third (27%) in an open-seat primary. Ratliff went on to win the runoff over Irving optometrist Steve Nguyen. In 2014, Rinaldi defeated Ratliff by 92 votes.
Update (Jan. 5) — Rep. Rinaldi said Reps. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), who also voted for Rep. Turner for Speaker, and Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball) have also endorsed him, bringing the total to 28.