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Equality Texas' PAC Endorses Moderate Republican State Rep. Sarah Davis Ahead Of Tough GOP Primary

by: Omar Araiza

Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM CST

For the first time in its history, the Equality Texas's PAC has made an endorsement for a Republican candidate -- Texas state Representative Sarah Davis (R-Houston).

The news was first broken yesterday by the Lone Star Q. In the article, Texas Equity PAC volunteer, Daniel Williams -- who is also Field Organizer and Legislative Specialist for Equality Texas -- explained the reasons behind the PAC's endorsement.

"The majority of Republicans agree with most of our legislative priorities," said Williams. "We have to make it safe for Republican representatives to be out front on those issues. Rep. Davis has done that and she's facing a primary opponent who is decidedly anti-equality. Endorsing Rep. Davis in the Republican primary isn't just the smart thing to do, it's a vital step towards making it safe for other Republicans to represent true Texas values of fairness."

This race will leave a lot left to consider on just how much the GOP has gone off the deep end if a moderate Republican like Davis loses her primary; particularly, after she voted against the omnibus abortion bill, HB 2, and is receiving endorsements that usually go to support Democratic candidates.

Read more about Davis and the endorsement below the jump.

Along with Sarah Davis, the Texas Equity PAC announced a list of other endorsements. Two endorsements include state Representatives Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth), and Alma Allen (D-Houston), allies of the LGBT community, who are also facing potentially tough opponents in the respective primary elections.

Davis at the Log Cabin Republicans' first state-wide conference
"This is a list of pro-LGBT candidates that we believe are in races where a little bit of support, a push from the LGBT community and our allies, could make the difference between advancing the cause of equality, or falling behind," Texas Equity PAC said in their endorsements email.

"Some of these candidates are incumbents facing anti-LGBT challengers from their own parties. Some are incumbents facing pro-LGBT challengers who lack experience, seniority or proven track records. Some are first-time candidates we believe have the potential to be great assets for equality. This is not a list of every pro-LGBT candidate for the Texas House, that list would be much, much longer. This is a list of five races where we as a community can tip the scales towards equality."

Last year, Davis was keynote speaker at the Texas' Log Cabin Republicans' first state-wide conference, where group members met to discuss the growing support of LGBT rights among young Republicans. The LCR is an organization within the Republican Party that advocates for equal rights for the LGBT community. Davis has been endorsed by the Texas' LCR organization in previous elections. She has helped defeat anti-gay legislation and supported some pro-LGBT bills.

Davis has the other distinction of being the only House Republican member to vote against the omnibus abortion regulation legislation this summer. In an op-ed with the Houston Chronicle, Davis articulated her position, stating, "at its core, the Republican Party stands for personal freedom, which is lost when government controls our lives."

Right-wing conservatives were enraged by her argument.

They blasted Davis as a RINO (Republican In Name Only), calling for an extreme right-wing conservative challenger to beat her. Davis is now facing longtime Republican supporter, Bonnie Parker, who previously ran and lost to Davis in 2010, by only a single-digit margin. Parker has already received the endorsement from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, and seems poised to become a tough opponent for Davis.

Luckily for Davis, her district -- House District 134 -- includes River Oaks, the most affluent area of Houston. Tea Party Republicans do not own this territory.

So it brings to question: If the not-so-anti-choice and not-so-anti-gay Republican legislator loses her primary in one of the arguably more educated Republican districts in the state, what does that say about GOP primary voters today?

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