On the final day of the state deadline to file for next year’s election, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Larry Meyers filed his paperwork to run against Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown--as a Democrat.
The Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa opined, "[Meyers] was very frustrated with the Republican Party’s emphasis on this right-wing social agenda and their constant catering to the right-wing extremists of the Republican Party that controlled the primaries.”
Hinojosa said he’s spoken to several moderate Republicans like Meyers who feel they no longer have a voice in the Texas Republican Party.
Hinojosa continued, “The party left [Meyers], he did not leave the party. So he’s apparently has been thinking about this for some time, but [until now] he did not believe the party was strong enough to elect Democrats statewide.”
Professor Jim Henson heads up the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, and says this shows that there is very little room for moderate Republicans in Texas.
Henson said, “What it does show is the middle of the party is a little bit contested right and it’s contested because the Republican Party is moving to the right. This is symptomatic of the fight we are seeing inside of the Republican Party between moderates and an increasing active and conservative right-wing of the party.”
Henson said Texas voters can expect more moderates to leave the Republican Party in the coming years, as they’ll be a minority in the Texas GOP and have less of a voice in the direction the party is headed. For now Meyer will stay in office as a Democratic judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, giving Democrats access to a statewide office that they haven’t seen since 1994.