Rep. Bryan Slaton resigns after Texas House committee expulsion recommendation

Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City) resigned Monday in advance of his potential expulsion from the Texas House in an expected Tuesday vote. Slaton turned in his resignation letter to the Texas House and Office of the Governor Monday morning.

“My decision today is to ensure that [my constituents’] expectations will continue to be met by a new representative who will also work hard on their behalf,” the letter reads. The resignation is effective immediately.

On Saturday, the Texas House General Investigating Committee released its report on the allegations against Slaton, including an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of his staffers. The committee recommended Slaton’s expulsion and Chair Andrew Murr (R-Junction) stated his intention to bring it up for a vote on Tuesday.

Murr announced on Monday that he still intends to bring forward the expulsion resolution against Slaton, adding that “he is considered to be an officer of this state until his successor is elected and takes the oath of office.”

The committee had been investigating a complaint against Slaton since early April after a friend of the staffer in question filed the complaint.

Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Matt Rinaldi issued the following statement after news of the resignation broke: 

“The Republican Party of Texas commends the Texas House for responding swiftly and appropriately to the reprehensible actions of Representative Slaton. The misconduct described in the General Investigative Committee Report should never be tolerated and is proper grounds for expulsion.  These actions have betrayed the trust that the people of Representative Slaton’s district put in him as an elected official, and he has rightly resigned. We are encouraged that this investigation signals that the House has entered a new era of accountability where all members will be held to the same fair and high standards.”

Over the weekend, calls for his resignation flowed in. Two county parties in Slaton’s district — the Hopkins County GOP and the Hunt County GOP — called on the representative to resign.

Sunday evening, over half of the Texas GOP’s State Republican Executive Committee, and the party’s Vice Chair Dana Myers, called for resignation or expulsion. Other grassroots conservative groups followed suit Monday morning.

The Texas Freedom Caucus also called on Slaton to resign Sunday, as did other House members individually over the last two days.

Rinaldi told the Texas Tribune over the weekend that he would wait until the House voted on the expulsion to comment, similar to Speaker Dade Phelan’s (R-Beaumont) statement in the immediate aftermath.

To fill his vacancy, Gov. Greg Abbott will have to call a special election. Three individuals have filed campaign treasurer appointments for Slaton’s district: Jill Dutton, William Everett Brannon, and David VanTrease.