GEORGETOWN, Texas (AP) - State Rep. Dan Branch insists he's not moving to his right to prevail in the cut-throat three-Republican race for Texas attorney general.
The 55-year-old Dallas attorney says he's actually long been a conservative champion. He points to helping marshal the necessary votes from fellow lawmakers for key legislation on social and ideological issues tea party activists love.
But critics note that much of Branch's legislative power comes from being a top lieutenant of House Speaker Joe Straus.
Some groups claim Straus has been too willing to ally with Democrats and moderate Republicans to get key bills passed.
That means the policy accomplishments Branch hopes will impress mainstream Republicans could hurt him among the staunchest conservatives.
And that's the very bloc that may swing the March 4 primary.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.