Over the last few days there have been reports of campaign phone calls being made to voters in Dallas and San Antonio telling Republicans the "Christian" thing to do would be to elect a new speaker. Supporters of current Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) say the calls are anti-Semitic...since the speaker is Jewish.
This afternoon speaker candidates Ken Paxton (R-McKenny) and Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) released a statements rejecting the idea that faith has anything to do with the race. You can read Chisum's statement below.
It has come to my attention that some people outside the legislature are insinuating that your or my faith is an issue in the race for Speaker of the House. I assure you that those sorts of attacks on a man's religion have absolutely no place in the race for Speaker. None. I absolutely reject all such attacks or insinuations.
We certainly have our differences, but they are differences on public policy and organization of the House.
I absolutely reject such deplorable personal attacks based on anyone's religion. No one working with me on my campaign for Speaker has anything to do with such tactics.