Jon Cole, the former Rick Perry aide who is running against Jerry Madden in the Republican primary, has been called out by the Young Conservatives of Texas for his tactics in the race. Here is the official release:

The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) are calling upon House District 67 Republican primary candidate Jon Cole to answer whether or not he is behind negative push polling in Collin County, and if so, to stop those actions immediately.

Reports have surfaced from several Republican voters in the county that they have received so-called push poll phone calls in the past several days that attempt to smear the reputation of State Representative Jerry Madden.

“Jon Cole needs to come clean on whether or not he paid for or supports these dirty tactics that seek to smear the reputation of one of our state’s finest leaders,” Laura Elizabeth Morales, Director of Public Relations for the Young Conservatives of Texas said. “Representative Madden is a West Point graduate with a sound conservative voting record. It’s shameful that these attacks are coming from such an inexperienced opponent. While Cole is new to politics, he needs to understand this type of behavior is unacceptable and wrong.”

In December the YCT, in a unanimous vote, endorsed Rep. Madden for re-election, citing his strong conservative record of making our streets safer and fighting government growth. In the 17th installment of their Legislative Ratings, Rep. Madden has a career rating of 85, indicating excellent standing with YCT.

(Last paragraph, about the YCT, is omitted)

Cole has been endorsed by former Dallas County District Attorney Bill Hill, Tarrant County District Attorney Tim Curry, and the Williamson County district attorney. A member of Madden’s committee told me that the DAs are mad about the decision, as part of the Texas Youth Commission reforms, not to allow TYC to accept misdemeanor offenders at this time. That decision will be reviewed in 2009. The release endorsing Cole was “over the top” in its bashing of Madden.

Texas Monthly selected Madden as a Ten Best legislator in 2007. He had a great session.