Democrat Sheriff Donated to Phelan’s Re-Election Campaign

Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens | Image by Sheriff Zena Stephens/Facebook
Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens | Image by Sheriff Zena Stephens/Facebook

Campaign finance reports show that embattled Texas Speaker Dade Phelan received $1,000 from Zena Stephens, a Democrat sheriff, on November 9, 2023.

Stephens was the chief of police at Prairie View A&M University who was then elected sheriff of Jefferson County in 2016, making her the state’s first female African American sheriff, reported Texas Monthly.

Stephens was involved in a court decision that stripped Attorney General Ken Paxton of his power to prosecute election fraud. Paxton tried to prosecute Stephens for campaign finance violations as she was accused of accepting cash contributions of over $100, which is not allowed under the Election Code, according to the Texas Scorecard.

The state court of criminal appeals issued an 8-1 opinion in 2021 stating that the attorney general cannot unilaterally prosecute election cases. Furthermore, the attorney general can only become involved in such cases when asked by a district or county attorney, reported The Texas Tribune.

This Court of Criminal Appeals decision overturned the lower court’s ruling that the Election Code “clearly and unambiguously gives the Attorney General power to prosecute criminal laws prescribed by election laws generally whether those laws are inside or outside the Code,” per The Texas Tribune.

Phelan (R-Beaumont) is campaigning against David Covey in the Republican primary runoff for Texas House District 21 on May 28, 2024. Covey has criticized Phelan for garnering Democratic support and funding.

“This donation is a drop in the bucket when it comes to Democrats supporting Dade Phelan. He had to turn out nearly 3,000 Democrats in the Republican primary just to make it to the runoff. He has also received $40,000 from a liberal teachers union that celebrated ‘Transgender Visibility Day’ on Easter Sunday. You can even see Joe Biden and Dade Phelan yard signs next to each other in voters’ yards. Every Southeast Texan deserves to know that Dade Phelan is more interested in taking care of his Democrat friends and lining his own pockets than he is in representing our conservative values,” Covey told The Dallas Express.

DX reached out to Phelan but did not receive a response by the time of publishing.

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