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ICYMI: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Excuses and Lies Earn Him Another Primary Challenger

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has another challenger and the call is coming from within the house. Former State Sen. Don Huffines has officially thrown his hat in the ring and set up a growing Republican primary fight for Abbott. 

In an announcement, Huffines said that “Texas deserves actual Republican leadership that will act urgently and decisively—no more excuses or lies.” Huffines has been an outspoken critic of Abbott over the past year, taking aim at Abbott’s COVID-19 response and even speaking at a protest held outside the Governor’s Mansion. 

Huffine’s announcement could be the first in a string of bad news for Abbott. Other prominent Republicans, including the chair of the Texas GOP and the state Agriculture Commissioner – both of whom joined the anti-Abbott rally last year – are rumored to be eyeing the GOP primary as well. Even Texas Attorney General went after Abbott during a conversation with the New York Times, saying “I don’t support him.” – a statement he later tried to backpedal as “fake news”. 

Abbott, meanwhile, is feeling the heat. In a sharp departure from his normal close-to-the-vest style, Abbott is now rushing to publicly prove his far-right bonafides. Things are starting to look interesting in Texas.

Read more about Abbott’s upcoming primary fight here:

The Texas Tribune: Republican former state Sen. Don Huffines launches primary challenge to Gov. Greg Abbott

Former state Sen. Don Huffines, a conservative Republican from Dallas who has been critical of Gov. Greg Abbott’s coronavirus policies, announced Monday that he is challenging Abbott in the 2022 primary.

“Texas deserves actual Republican leadership that will act urgently and decisively—no more excuses or lies,” Huffines said in a statement, vowing bolder action on border security, property taxes and elections.

Huffines is a wealthy businessman who served in the Senate from 2015-2019. He was unseated by Democrat Nathan Johnson in 2018.

Abbott is up for a third term in 2022 and has drawn some heat from within his party for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Huffines has criticized Abbott as being too slow to fully reopen the state and he spoke at a protest outside the Governor’s Mansion last fall.

Huffines’ announcement did not mention Abbott but took aim at “politicians who offer nothing but excuses and lies” and promised to take on the “entrenched elites of the Austin swamp.” In promising more decisive action, Huffines said Texas needs to “finally finish the [border] wall” and that he would put the state “on a path to eliminating property taxes.”[…]

Huffines may not be the only credible Abbott challenger in the March 1 primary, which could get rescheduled due to the redistricting process. Other potential opponents include Allen West, chairman of the Texas GOP, and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. The filing deadline for the currently scheduled primary is Dec. 13.

Abbott’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Huffines’ candidacy.

Huffines was a strident conservative in the Senate. His announcement highlighted his record on issues important to the right, as well as his successful push to shut down the Dallas Public Schools bus agency amid reports of financial mismanagement there.

Huffines stayed politically active after leaving the Senate and especially so in the past year, as conservative angst simmered over Abbott’s pandemic management.