Secessionists in Texas celebrate election success

There was great jubilation among Texas independence activists after four Republican candidates won the state Republican primary on Tuesday by signing the “Texas First” pledge, promising to support a referendum on Texas' secession from the United States.

This move significantly increases the chances that a bill calling for a referendum on Texas independence will be introduced in the Texas Legislature.

Texas nationalism has drawn increasing attention in recent months in the context of growing tensions between state and federal authorities. The Supreme Court ruled in January that federal officials could remove barbed wire along the U.S.-Mexico border under an order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Earlier this month, Abbott urged Texas universities and colleges to ignore an update to the Biden administration's Title IX Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity.

On Tuesday, Texas Republicans Andy Hopper, David Lowe, AJ Louderback and Lea Simmons, all of whom signed the “Texas First” pledge, won their respective runoff elections.

The Texas state flag flies in San Antonio, Texas, on March 30, 2023. Four Texas Republicans who had promised to support a referendum on state independence have won their runoffs in the primary election…

Mike Mulholland/GETTY

The signatories of the “Texas First” initiative, organized by the separatist Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM), vow that if elected “they will vote for legislation and resolutions calling for a vote on Texas reaffirming its status as an independent nation in each term until such a referendum is held.”

They also promise: “If a majority of the people of Texas vote to restore Texas to its status as an independent nation, I pledge to work toward a fair and expeditious separation of Texas from the federal government, putting the interests of Texans first.”

Hopper defeated his Republican rival 58 percent to 48 percent, securing the Republican nomination for Texas' 64th The House of Representatives district is currently under Republican control.

Lowe, Louderback and Simmons achieved similar victories in competitions for the 91st30th and 76th The first two constituencies are currently represented by Republicans.

Speak with Newsweek TNM President Daniel Miller said, “We are thrilled that four more signatories of the Texas First Pledge have moved one step closer to the Texas Legislature’s session.

“In addition to the candidates who clearly won their primaries in March, we will enter the next legislative session with the strongest group of lawmakers we have ever had committed to giving Texans a vote on independence.”

On Tuesday, two Texas First pledge signers, David Covey and Summara Kanwal, lost runoff elections for the 21st and 76th districts, respectively, with the latter running against her fellow Texas First pledge signer, Simmons.

Newsweek The Republican Party of Texas reached out to the media outside of regular office hours for comment through the organization’s online media inquiry form.

In 2023, then-Republican Texas State Representative Bryan Slaton introduced a bill calling for a referendum on whether the state should “restore its status as an independent nation,” but it failed to pass the State Affairs Committee.

Texas nationalists hope that one of the signatories of the “Texas First” campaign, which prevailed in Tuesday's Republican runoff, will introduce a similar bill if he wins seats in November.

In another victory for the secessionists, Abraham George and D'rinda Randall, both of whom had signed the “Texas First” pledge, were elected chairman and vice-chairman at the Texas Republican Party convention held in San Antonio from May 23 to 25.