**Editor’s Note: Since this article went live, the Texas House formally elected Dade Phelan as Speaker of the House.**
To find some of the most influential people in Austin, look no further than the lobbyists employed by hundreds of entities across the state of Texas. The highest paid lobbyists in Texas politics are hired by organizations willing to spend significant resources persuading lawmakers to support legislation that is favorable to their interests.
Texas House District 2, east of Dallas, includes Hopkins, Hunt, and Van Zandt counties. Republican incumbent House Rep. Dan Flynn’s consistent political shift to the left, combined with his outright opposition to the Republican Party platform position against taxpayer-funded lobbying has earned him two challengers on his right flank. Republican challenger Bryan Slaton is back for a third showdown against Flynn, and Republican activist Dwayne Collins has also thrown his hat into the ring. The winner of this three-way Republican battle will face Democrat contender Bill Brannon in November.