Jeff Younger is not a household name for most Texans, but he has been a dominant figure in Texas Republican politics over the last three years. He has built a prominent profile within the Texas GOP and was a catalyst in the effort to pass discriminatory legislation against transgender children.
This stemmed from his ugly – and public – personal custody battle that helped ignite a movement against transgender health care for kids. Younger spent the majority of 2021 advocating for these policies and Texas Republicans listened.
After the Texas Legislative session, he was propped up for a candidacy for the Texas State House as a Republican in 2022. He received major financial backing from some of the biggest money organizations on the right in Texas and he also attracted a lot of attention for some of his most extreme views. Ultimately, he lost in the GOP primary runoff for Texas House District 63. And while he lost that race, Younger arguably won the war for influence over Texas Republicans.
Speaker Dade Phelan’s house held the most anti-trans bill hearings in recent memory the session Younger was activated. Phelan then ultimately caved to right-wing pressure and passed an anti-transgender bill that would bar kids from playing sports on their appropriate teams. The 2023 session this year is expected to follow this trend and allow for more attacks. Tucker Carlson had him on his show. Governor Greg Abbott – perpetually eyeing higher office – then joined in the chorus and announced in 2019 that the state would look into the case.
Governor Abbott later took this cruelty a step further as he directed the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate the parents of trans children last year.
It is safe to say, not only has Younger been accepted by mainstream Texas Republicans, but he has embodied their current politics more so than anyone. And besides his well-documented crusades against transgender kids – let’s look at where his advocacy efforts are headed next.
It seems Younger’s new political target is the rights of women. In a series of tweets, Younger bemoaned single women’s political power and encouraged folks to actively work to diminish it. All with a bizarre inclusion of Taylor Swift. This could be classified as normal misogyny online, but considering he has Governor Abbott’s ear it’s particularly problematic.
In January alone, he posted several quote tweets of white supremacist accounts or tweets promoting anti-Black sentiments. https://twitter.com/JeffYoungerTX/status/1619591632814505993?s=20&t=ZDXzln4eIxkaTjBznsoMkg
It is yet to be seen if Texas Republicans will accept more of his proposals this legislative session, but given the backward policies they passed last session including restricting the right to vote and abolishing the right to an abortion — it is a serious possibility.