Tea Party group backs primary challenge to Ways and Means chair

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A major Tea Party group is backing a primary challenge to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin BradyFroman: Too early to start trade talks with the UK Advisers: Trump's revised tax plan will resemble Ryan's Overnight Healthcare: Health mergers in trouble? | Norovirus in Cleveland | GOP chairman rejects Trump Medicare pricing plan MORE, one of the House GOP’s top members.

The Tea Party Express's candidate of choice for the Texas seat is Steve Toth, whom state conservative groups have lauded.

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"Steve is an entrepreneur and a successful businessman. He knows the importance of balancing a budget and getting the job done. He also is a proven conservative. He hasn’t only talked the talk, but in the Texas State House of Representatives, he walked the walk," Tea Party Express Chairman Howard Kaloogian said in a statement. “By every measure, Steve Toth is a consistent conservative."

Kaloogian added that the group plans on doing everything it can to help Toth win the election.

Brady, who won the Ways and Means gavel after Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanReid: Intelligence community should 'fake it' on Trump’s briefings Trump steals the spotlight at Democratic convention Spokesman denies that Trump invited Russia to hack Clinton MORE (R-Wis.) took over as Speaker, has served in the House since 1997 and hasn't faced a serious primary challenger recently. He's well-liked within the Texas delegation and the GOP caucus, which gave him the keys to the powerful committee late last year.

Brady has not announced his year-end fundraising haul yet, but he closed the third quarter with almost $1 million on hand. Toth announced his bid in November, so he hasn't had to disclose his fundraising totals yet.

After one term in the Texas Statehouse, Toth lost a bid for the state Senate in 2014.

In endorsing Toth, the Tea Party Express cited his leadership on a bill in 2013 to block federal gun control measures at the state level. It also noted his high ratings from state conservative groups.

Toth earned a 112 percent score from Texas Right to Life, a prominent anti-abortion group in the state. The Madison Project, another conservative group that doesn't shy away from primary challenges, also endorsed Toth late last year. 

The district is a safe one for conservatives, making the GOP primary the only true test for a Republican candidate.

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