Loaning Campaign Cash: State Senator Don Huffines

Self financing a million dollar campaign for public office must be a thing for republicans.

Hallelujah! Photo from the Dallas Observer

Don Huffines is a multimillionaire. He recently completed a trip to Russia to meet with other wealthy Russian individuals. He was elected to the Texas Senate in 2014 edging out John Carona in the Republican primary. His Libertarian challenger dropped out of the race in the general election.

According to the Texas Tribune his 2018 Democratic opponent Nathan Johnson stated:

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve crisscrossed the district talking to constituents about the many challenges we face right here in Senate District 16,” Johnson wrote. “Meanwhile, my Trump-defending opponent Don Huffines decided to go on a Moscow adventure this week with Rand Paul instead, to ‘improve parliamentary relations’ with Russia. What does this say about his priorities?”

His priorities are clear. According to his ethics reports he has raised $7.4 million for his primary win with about 15,000 votes, about $500 per vote. Much like Kathaleen Wall who invested $6 Million for a Congressional primary (and lost), and David Mayes Middleton who invested $1.5 Million for his State House primary win, Huffines invested $6 Million for his primary win for a State Senate seat. Out of his $7.4 fundraising haul 81% came from his own pocket!

$7.4 Million might be an appropriate amount to raise for a very competitive Congressional race but it is an obscene amount for a State Senate race and much less for a primary. It’s pretty clear. Just like Middleton, Huffines bought a seat at our table. At least the republican voters in CD2 didn’t buy Kathaleen Wall’s buying of her seat. 

Besides his own $6 million, Huffines raised $1.4 million, the vast majority coming from high dollar donors. Only $15,000 (1%) came from donations less than $200 from about 125 donors. $1.35 Million (92%) came from about 200 wealthy donors of $1000 or more, including a $100,000 donation from Donald Huffines, $115,000 from Carl Allen, $65,000 from Andrew Beal and $63,000 from Huffines relatives. 

Unfortunately the republican voters do not mind if a seat is bought by a wealthy candidate. This is who they are. 

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