Rep. Justin Holland (R-Rockwall) of Texas House District 33 has drawn a primary challenger after harshly criticizing conservative activists and grassroots Republicans.
The challenger, Dennis London, sought District 33’s nomination in the 2022 election cycle but fell short by a wide margin. Now, Holland’s critical rhetoric against members of his party has opened a window for London to mount a comeback campaign in the 2024 Republican primary.
Holland has been feuding with conservatives following a legislative session that some grassroots activists considered a disappointment.
The embattled House member defended Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan’s handling of school choice, property tax relief, and border security legislation, which has proven controversial among some Republican voters. Holland also attacked the Texas Republican Party, county party organizations, and the Texas conservative movement more broadly on Twitter.
“Nobody (in real Texas politics) cares about the [State Republican Executive Committee] or its chair. It’s a defunct organization and needs a total re-haul from the top down,” Holland tweeted last Friday. “Local parties are AWOL. It’s a mess. The good news is they are all irrelevant and have no local/state respect.”
London hopes to rally insulted activists to his campaign with what he calls a “constitutional conservative” campaign platform, Texas Scorecard reported. London has a background as a small business owner and is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He moved to Texas from California in 2018, citing California’s liberalism as his motivating factor.
He said he wants to restore trust and legislative accountability to the Texas House and would better represent his constituents’ interests. London told the Texas Scorecard that Holland has displayed “blatant disregard” for his constituents in Rockwall and Collin Counties.
In addition to Holland’s series of controversial tweets, Holland was one of 60 House Republicans that voted for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment. Gun Owners of America have also criticized Holland for supporting legislation they claim would infringe on Texans’ Second Amendment rights.
The Texas Republican Primary will be held on March 5, 2024.