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Former state lawmaker who kickstarted library book reviews never thought effort would grow so large

Republican Matt Krause announces his candidacy for the Tarrant County Commissioners' Court.

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — When Matt Krause was a State Representative and chair of the House General Investigating Committee, he sent a letter asking whether school districts had any books on a list of around 850 titles.

Those books dealt with issues such as race, teen pregnancy, abortion and homosexuality.

In the two years since that letter went out, reviewing and removing library books has become a flashpoint of America’s culture war, happening all over the country.

And here in Texas, the state has even begun eliminating DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) programs from higher education since then.

Krause told us on Inside Texas Politics, he’s had folks from as far away as Massachusetts recognize him as the lawmaker from Texas with the book list.

The Republican sees his letter as a touchstone.

“I think it started the conversation. It really took off like a wildfire after that. We never anticipated it to have the reach that it did. So, I think maybe it was a spark,” Krause told us.

After a brief run for Texas Attorney General, and losing in the Republican primary for Tarrant County District Attorney, Krause has announced a run for Tarrant County Commissioner’s Court.

He’s seeking to replace current Precinct 3 Commissioner Gary Fickes, who’s retiring.

“It’s been funny seeing some local papers in Texas and then some national papers say this is the guy responsible for all these book inquiries and all of this. I don’t go nearly so far. I think the parents are the ones who are responsible for it,” he said.

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