AUSTIN – The state's two largest law enforcement agencies disagree on whether Senator Ted Cruz and several other Republican incumbents deserve their support in this election year.
This week, the 27,000-member Texas Municipal Police Association's Senator sits over his Democratic challenger, El Paso Congressman Beto O & Rourke. But Texas' Combined Law Enforcement Associations, or CLEAT, which identifies itself as the largest union of police in the state, will not support either of them because of concerns over their policies.
Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said the senator is "grateful" for the support he has received from law enforcement groups such as TMPA, the National Border Patrol Council and the San Antonio Police Officers Association. He is also supported by 1
"Texas peace officers are a cornerstone of the Lone Star State," Frazier said. "Every day, they put themselves at risk to bring the Texas family to safety and maintain our exceptional quality of life, and Ted Cruz is committed to honoring their ministry and providing them with the tools and support they need to fulfill their mission need."
CLEAT and TMPA have lined heads in the past, each claiming to be the representative voice for the boys in Texas. But they have never been so divided. And their disagreement does not stop at Cruz – it extends to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton stand in front of Democrats Mike Collier and Justin Nelson.
CLEAT, which has more than 22,500 members nationwide, will not even support Cruz after making a seat on its board this month, Executive Director Charley Wilkison said Thursday. In the past, the CLEAT board supported US Senator John Cornyn, who will not be re-elected this year.
"They rewarded friends and people who came and talked to them and invested time and answered their questions," said Wilkison The Dallas Morning News . "For them, exposing things shows that they were thinking about it, and they had concerns that were not answered."
Wilkinson said that the board had concerns regarding some Cruz policies, particularly in the wake of government spending. But CLEAT has also overruled O'Rourke's criticism of economic and criminal justice policies. He says he excludes non-white Americans as the "new Jim Crow".