October 27, 2023

What Is a RINO?

The term RINO has been around since the early part of the twentieth century and was first applied nationally to Teddy Roosevelt because of his proclivity to break up large corporations under the auspices of the now-defunct Sherman Antitrust Act. In the 1990’s, it was generally used to describe Republicans who favored higher taxes following George H. W. Bush’s betrayal of his “read my lips: no new taxes” pledge.

More recently, as conservatives have expressed their discontent with moderates who exhibit no discernible principles whatsoever (such as Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, or Lindsey Graham), the term has been applied to perceived members of the Washington “uni-party.”

So what does it mean in Texas House District 64 and why do I use the term in my campaign material?

Many Republicans are loosely aware of the Republican National Committee, but most are not aware each state has their own Republican party and distinct party platform. Indeed, the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) is truly a grassroots organization whose platform is meticulously composed and agreed upon by thousands of delegates from every corner of Texas.

From that platform, the delegates also vote on legislative priorities which represent the issues that are most crucial to Texas Republicans. The identification of these priorities at the RPT Convention is driven, in no small part, by primary ballot propositions voted on by Texas Republican Primary voters.

In advance of the most recent regular legislative session, 8 priorities were identified by the RPT:

  • Protect our Elections
  • Secure the Border 
  • Ban Gender Modification of Children
  • Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids
  • Ban Democrat Chairs
  • Abolish Abortion in Texas
  • Defend our Gun Rights
  • Parental Rights and Education Freedom

Of the 22 bills filed in the Texas House pertaining to the sexualization of Texas children, Lynn Stucky supported just 1.

Of the 14 bills filed to end the gender modification of children, Stucky supported just 2.

Of the 23 Republican initiatives supporting parental rights and educational freedom, Stucky supported just 1.

Of the 11 Republican initiatives to protect the Texas border, Stucky supported 2

Of the 16 initiatives offered by Republicans to stop illegal abortions and protect our gun rights, Stucky supported ZERO.

When Phelan’s lieutenants brought forth a point of order for the proposed Republican ban on allowing Democrat chairmanships in the Republican-controlled legislature, we only needed 10 Republicans to stand against the ruling. Unfortunately, Stucky remained silent and only 7 Republicans ultimately stood up for this crucial rule change, leaving Texans with liberal Democrats chairing important committees in the Texas legislature.

In March, 2022, a strong majority of HD64 Republicans voted to ban Democrat chairmanships (Wise County: 85%, Denton County: 79%), but Lynn Stucky ignored their wishes and even vocally defended the practice.

For the past two sessions, Stucky voted for the liberal “Republican” speaker Dade Phelan, the one of only three Republicans in the Texas House who received a passing score from the radical homosexual group, Equality Texas. The election of Phelan as Speaker guaranteed that Democrats would continue to receive chairmanships because those leadership positions are the bargaining chip that Phelan uses to secure the support of the Democrats in the House. It is worth noting that Stucky received $102K from Speaker Phelan. As recently as a few weeks ago, Speaker Phelan sent out a mailer to our district touting the great deeds of Stucky.

Lynn Stucky runs as a Republican to represent the 64th legislative district of Texas. Yet, of the 86 Republican initiatives supporting the 8 Republican Legislative priorities in the 2022 session, Representative Stucky gave his support to 8 items and he refused to support banning Democrat chairmanships despite the overwhelming directive of his Republican constituents. 

Finally, Lynn Stucky voted with 61 Democrats to impeach Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton in a rushed procedure with no transparency to the 4.3 million voters who elected Paxton nor allowed the Representatives to properly review the “evidence.” It should be noted that this political maneuver killed dozens of conservative bills awaiting a vote in the House as well as provided cover for a House vote to increase Texas spending of state funds to $233 billion, a 42% increase and the largest increase in Texas history.  

That is the record of a Republican In Name Only: A RINO.

That is Lynn Stucky’s record. Unaffiliated to the Republican Party, Denton County Conservative Coalition’s State Representative Score Card scores Representative Stucky as “pro liberal.”

By definition, Texas Republicans by-and-large support our RPT Platform and Legislative Priorities, and yet Lynn Stucky does not. In fact, through most of the 2022 primary, Stucky chose to not even put “Republican” on his signs. 

Unfortunately, it appears clear that there is no appetite by establishment Republicans to rock the boat. HD64 needs bold conservative representation in the Texas House that will fight for secure and transparent elections. As your representative, I will fight to ensure that you can trust the process here in Texas.

I am Andy Hopper and I am most definitely not a RINO. As a lifelong Republican, I will tenaciously fight for our legislative priorities put forth by Texas Republicans. In addition, I will fight to enact the planks of the RPT Platform, which I wholeheartedly support and, as the Republican Caucus Chair for Senate District 12 at the 2022 State Convention, personally voted for.

Despite claims to the contrary, the definition of a Texas “Republican” is not subjective or debatable. In fact, Texas Republicans relentlessly seek to advance the principles espoused in our outstanding RPT Platform. As your Representative for House District 64, I pledge to do exactly that.