Longtime State Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, recently rejected an endorsement from a conservative Latino group in his bid for Texas Senate.
Parker is running for State Senate District 12, which will represent southern Denton County, Wise County and parts of Dallas and Tarrant counties. The LIBRE Initiative in late January announced several endorsements for Republicans running for Texas Senate, and three of them, including Parker, have since rejected the endorsements, citing the group’s stance on immigration.
“I completely and unequivocally reject the LIBRE Initiative’s endorsement,” Parker said. “The LIBRE Initiative has made clear where they stand on the issue of amnesty and illegal immigration, and we are not in agreement. I believe in the American Dream, and I fully support anyone who comes to this country legally to achieve this dream.
“Any attempt to grant amnesty is in direct violation of my core conservative values.”
LIBRE said in a statement that the group is “disappointed that some state senate candidates accepted a false premise and description of our immigration position … The LIBRE Initiative Action is undoubtedly for the rule of law and legal immigration,” according to the Texas Tribune. The LIBRE statement went on to say that the group supports border security, creating an earned pathway to legal status for Dreamers and streamlining U.S. immigration.
In his statement, though, Parker went beyond just rejecting the endorsement.
“I demand the LIBRE Initiative remove my name from their material and retract their endorsement of my campaign,” he said. “The voters in Senate District 12 know my record and will not be deceived.”
LIBRE’s statement said that it was “ready to mobilize voters and support these candidates,” but it honored their wishes and withdrew its endorsements.
Parker is seeking the Republican nomination for District 12 in the March 1 primary. If he wins that, he will be on the ballot in the November general election.