Plano Republican Leaves House Freedom Caucus After Democratic Wins In Texas Suburbs

State Rep. Jeff Leach most likely left the conservative faction of House Republicans for “self-preservation,” since his district is becoming less conservative.

By Rhonda FanningDecember 4, 2018 11:49 am, , ,

Late Friday, Texas state Rep. Jeff Leach, a Republican from Plano, sent a message to the Texas House Freedom Caucus saying he would no longer be a member of the group. In part of his statement, he wrote that he “decided that I want to recommit myself entirely to the House Republican Caucus – to working diligently with all of our fellow Republicans in the House to ensure that, as a GOP caucus, we stay focused and make great strides on the pressing issues that our voters, including our grassroots, want us to be focused on.”

Ben Philpott, senior editor at KUT in Austin, says Leach’s departure could signal broader changes for the Texas Legislature as a whole especially after Republicans lost several seats during the midterms.

“The Republicans just got their butts kicked in Texas suburbs this last election,” Philpott says. “All places that have been voting for Republicans and were kind of the base for the Republican party – that suburban voter.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How the House Freedom Caucus in Texas started in 2017 as a spinoff from a national version of the group

– What the Texas House Freedom Caucus is for and against

– Why it may be a challenge for Leach to establish himself as a more moderate Republican

Written by Caroline Covington.