Trump campaign alum defeats incumbent in Texas primary runoff

A former Trump campaign official has emerged victorious in a closely contested primary and will now represent a solidly Republican Texas House district.

Katrina Pierson, who served as the spokesperson for 45th President Trump’s 2016 campaign, defeated incumbent state Rep. Justin Holland in Tuesday’s primary runoff for Texas’ 33rd House District. With no Democratic candidate in the race, Pierson is the presumptive winner of the November general election.

Pierson received strong support from Republican Texas Governor Gregg Abbott, who has been actively backing candidates aligned with his policy goals and seeking to replace incumbents who have opposed them.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is the support from Gov. Abbott,” Pierson said following her victory. “This endorsement reflects our shared commitment to advancing conservative principles in Texas.”

Katrina Pierson speaking with attendees at the 2021 Young Women’s Leadership Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. Gage Skidmore via Wiki Commons.

Justin Holland, who first took office in 2016, faced backlash for opposing key legislation favored by Abbott, including measures that would allow Texas parents to use public funding for private or religious school tuition. Holland was part of a group of 21 Republicans who joined Democrats in opposing this legislation last year.

Holland also garnered criticism for supporting legislation to raise the age for purchasing “assault-style” rifles from 18 to 21 and for voting to impeach Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Katrina Pierson’s campaign was bolstered by endorsements from prominent figures, including Paxton, who supported her ahead of the March primary, and Abbott, who endorsed her before the runoff.

Pierson’s win strengthens the Republican majority in the Texas state House, where the GOP currently holds 86 of the 150 seats. Her victory highlights the ongoing intra-party battles and the influence of high-profile endorsements in shaping the future of Texas politics.

With her experience as a national spokesperson and her alignment with key conservative policies, Pierson is poised to make a significant impact in the Texas legislature. As she prepares to take office, she remains focused on implementing the changes she campaigned on, ensuring her constituents’ voices are heard in Austin.

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