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February 9, 2018      5:01 PM

Outgunned financially by Middleton, Rep. Faircloth hopes voters choose a work horse over a show horse

Middleton touts Gov. Abbott’s endorsement, may spend more than $1 million, and says the Texas House is an “obstacle” for conservatives; Faircloth picks up TLR endorsement, argues he’s gotten results including UTMB funding, beach restoration, and progress on windstorm insurance

GALVESTON – When the waiter puts a plate of fried oysters in front of you at Shrimp N Stuff in downtown Galveston, it is tempting to dive right in. Fresh out of the fryer, though, they’ll burn the roof of your mouth. Best to wait a minute.

“We are having one of the best seasons for oysters we’ve seen in probably a decade,” said a smiling Rep. Wayne Faircloth, a Republican State Farm agent, who saw the city manager Brian Maxwell walk into the cozy restaurant last week. He hopped up to shake his hand and chat before having lunch.

Oysters this good can bring people together around a table here. But issues like the Chambers County/Galveston County oyster industry rivalry can get people just as angry as the fact that the feds haven’t stepped up with a $15 billion investment in a coastal barrier. It was first proposed 10 years ago after Hurricane Ike and still hasn’t been approved after Hurricane Harvey. “If you shut down this bay system, you’re talking about a $1.5 billion economic impact per day,” Rep. Faircloth said.

Something else dividing Texans in this blue-collar community that until two legislative sessions ago was represented by a Democrat for 20 years: The race between Rep. Faircloth and Mayes Middleton, the wealthy former board member of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Empower Texans Foundation. As of today, it also divides Gov. Greg Abbott and Texans for Lawsuit Reform – the former backing Middleton while the latter supports Faircloth.

By Scott Braddock

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