Former Gateway Church Pastor’s Endorsement Worth a Lot in Texas Politics

Update: In the Texas GOP State Representative race, Capriglione is easily defeating Mizani. At this writing with 458/705 precincts reporting, Capriglione has 11,224 votes and Mizani is far behind with 6,663. It doesn’t appear that the endorsement described below is having much of an impact.


Gateway Church still has some clout. Even though the church has laid off staff and Pastor Robert Morris’ children have left for church plants elsewhere, local politicians still want endorsements from Gateway-connected pastors. Here is a letter of sent by Texas State House of Representatives candidate Armin Mizani in his primary race against fellow Republican State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) touting the endorsement of former Gateway Church worship leader Walker Beach.

Beach doesn’t even live in Keller anymore. He is a pastor in Florida. However, apparently the Gateway name and aura still carries some weight in politics.

In the rarefied world of Southlake’s House District 98, one can’t be too conservative. According to a GOP insider in the area, Capriglione’s sin was voting for Joe Straus for Speaker of the House. Straus is conservative but blocked the “bathroom bill” which would have required people use public bathrooms consistent with their birth assigned sex. More specifically, the bill would have repealed anti-discrimination ordinances for LGBT people in Texas cities. Local Tea Party supporters wanted Scott Turner as the Speaker. Since Turner didn’t have the votes, Capriglione supported Straus, much to the consternation of the local tea partiers. Thus, Mizani has emerged as an alternative to punish Capriglione.

Even though Capriglione is sympathetic to the same ends, those pushing Mizani want him to roll back protections for LGBT citizens and any number of other Tea Party objectives.

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