The inability of the Texas Legislature to advance school choice out of the last special session has put some House Republicans running for reelection in a tight spot ahead of primary season.

Gov. Greg Abbott is allegedly targeting 16 of the 21 House Republicans who voted to remove education savings accounts from an education spending bill during the fourth special legislative session convened this year, having thrown his support behind six of their challengers so far, according to The Texas Tribune.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Abbott was seen campaigning for Hillary Hickland, who is running against Rep. Hugh Shine (R-Temple) for House District 55. Shine was one of the House Republicans who voted to kill school choice during the last special session.

Hickland has made passing school choice part of her campaign messaging.

“We … need to empower parents with their God-given right to make decisions about their children’s future,” said Hickland, according to KWTD 10. “That is basic. No one knows better for their children than parents … I am very passionate about school choice and opening opportunities for kids.”

He also endorsed Joanne Shofner, who is challenging Rep. Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) in the House District 1 Republican primary.

“Now [Abbott’s] running somebody against me because I voted against vouchers,” Clardy said, per The Daily Sentinel. “It’s disappointing. Are there issues where taking that strong of a stand might be right? Yeah. But this isn’t it. The governor’s never been a big supporter of vouchers, and all of the sudden he is.”

Despite Clardy’s claim about the governor’s track record on school choice, Abbott has long been on the record as a supporter of school choice.

“Every parent deserves choices about where they will send their child to school. All these parents know this isn’t a Republican issue, it’s not a Democrat issue. This is a civil rights issue,” Abbott said back in 2017, according to the Texas Observer.

Some House Republicans who voted against school choice have opted not to seek reelection. Abbott has nonetheless decided to throw his weight in the primary, supporting candidates in favor of one of his most important policy priorities.

Rep. John Raney (R-College Station), for instance, is not running following his vote. Abbott endorsed Bryan businessman Paul Dyson for the seat.

“I know Paul will help me secure the border, cut property taxes, promote economic policies that spur growth, and expand school choice for all Texas families once and for all. I encourage everyone in House District 14 to join me in supporting Paul Dyson for State Representative,” the governor posted on social media.

Polling shows broad support for some kind of school choice legislation across most demographics in Texas, with many of the state’s public school systems steadily losing students to available alternatives like charters, private schools, and homeschooling. The dynamic may be in part due to poor student achievement outcomes.

Dallas ISD, for instance, underperformed across several metrics, according to its latest accountability from the Texas Education Agency. Only 41% of students scored at grade level on their STAAR exams despite the hard work of their dedicated teachers, and almost 20% of the district’s graduating Class of 2022 did not earn a diploma in four years.