Back when Dennis Bonnen took over as the Texas Speaker of the House, we were given the impression he was going to behave like some kind of conservative.
We were wrong.
Texas House Speaker Bonnen is now threatening to punish anyone who campaigns against incumbents, according to Texas Scorecard, and his threats run even deeper than you'd probably expect.
Earlier this week Bonnen said he will ban members from engaging in electoral campaigns against each other. This threat is also directed towards legislators who plan to endorse, donate, or assist in any other manner in races against incumbents.
Bonnen said, "If members of the Legislature are out campaigning against each other, you then don’t accomplish things like that because you bring the elections into the legislative process, and you don’t get over the wounds and the battles. And then people turn into Washington, and you’re simply here to legislate on politics, not on policy and not on accomplishment of success."
This threat goes beyond primary elections; Bonnen is talking about general election too.
The Houston Chronicle reports, "the warning applies to members of both parties and those who serve as party chairs."
This won't end well for Republicans in 2020. The party lost 12 seats in the last election and currently holds a slim 83-67 majority in the Texas House. If members follow Bonnen's command, it will likely hurt GOP candidates in swing districts.