State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, the Tea Party firebrand from Bedford, has a Republican primary challenger.
Bedford pastor Scott Fisher plans to announce Tuesday that he is taking on Stickland, according to GOP sources. In recent days, Fisher has been informing friends in the district and Austin of his soon-to-be campaign.
Fisher, who serves as senior pastor at Metroplex Chapel in Euless, has a long resume of public service. He has formerly chaired the Texas Youth Commission and the board of the JPS Health Network, and he currently chairs the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and the board of Metroplex Chapel Academy.
Fisher has also been a member of the Texas Ethics Commission, and served on the boards of One Heart, a criminal justice project aimed at young people, and Mid Cities Pregnancy Center, which helps women deal with unplanned pregnancies.
The matchup between Fisher and Stickland has the potential for fireworks. Under the pink dome, Stickland has a reputation for antagonizing members of his own party; among conservative activists back home, he is a celebrity.
Fisher called Stickland on Monday evening to notify him of his plans, according to the lawmaker. Fisher branded himself as a “conservative that can be effective,” said Stickland, dismissing Fisher’s pitch as the “same song and dance.”
“We’ve known for a very long time you can’t go to Austin and actually fight for conservative values and expect the establishment not to fire back,” Stickland said.
Stickland said he has “already been campaigning” in House District 92 with town hall meetings, block walks and fundraisers. “Literally we’ve got the entire campaign team picked out,” he added.
“They want to have a go,” Stickland said of his critics. “We’re going to give it to them.”
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/09/28/bedford-pastor-challenge-stickland-primary/.