But the left-leaning officials who spearheaded the boycott may have underestimated the backlash it would trigger in both the national media and among the city’s many religious residents. On May 4, San Antonio voters will elect a new mayor, and the election has become a proxy contest for the Chick-fil-A controversy. Incumbent mayor Ron Nirenberg, who supports the blacklisting, faces city councilman Greg Brockhouse, who wants to reverse it.
Barring Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio airport generated negative national publicity and drew the ire of the state’s Republican officials. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that he had opened an investigation regarding the decision, and Paxton also requested that the U.S. Department of Transportation look into the matter. Citing the First Amendment, Paxton stated that he had “serious concerns” that religious liberties were “under assault at the San Antonio airport.” Paxton declared that “the city’s discriminatory decision is not only out of step with Texas values, but inconsistent with the Constitution and Texas law.” Texas Governor Greg Abbott added that “the ban has the stench of religious discrimination against Chick-fil-A.” Senator Ted Cruz joined in, calling the city council’s decision “ridiculous.”