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“Very influential” or “magnificent delusional idea”?Republican main enemy Don Huffines sees the impact when Governor Greg Abbott pushes to the right

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Governor Greg Abbott has publicly ignored his most vocal primary challenger, Don Huffines, for months, saying his campaign has paid no attention to him.

But lately, the direction of the state government is significantly in line with Haffins’ demands.

Abbott’s decision to ban employees from demanding the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday showed a complete reversal for the governor — and came after Huffins hunted him down. Abbott justified the reversal as a necessary backlash against the federal government, but Huffins declared victory — and that’s far from the only problem he claims to have pushed Abbott to the right.

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Abbott’s announcement this spring that Texas will build its own border wall came after Huffins launched a campaign to propose it. Abbott’s move to call on the state to declare health care to confirm gender against child abuse of minors came after Huffins called for it to be cracked down. And after Huffins criticized Abbott on the State Department’s website, which provides resources for LGBTQ youth, the ministry withdrew it. The move confirmed by the Houston Chronicle report on Monday was prompted by Huffins.

Whatever motivates Abbott, it’s moving Texas in the most conservative direction in recent memory — and Huffins is only looking to accelerate the orbit.

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A wealthy business owner and former State Senator of Dallas, Haffins, said in an interview Tuesday that his campaign was “very influential,” “certainly the main reason-if not 100% of the reasons.” — [Abbott’s] Moved to the right, including all sessions and special sessions last spring. “

“Abbott knew he needed to support his right flank because he knew I would come after him in the last session,” said his major challenge in May. I spoke for months against the governor’s coronavirus reaction before announcing it. “I think my campaign had a dramatic impact on his policy.”

Abbott’s campaign rejects Huffins and the idea that he influences Abbott’s agenda.

Abbott’s chief strategy officer, Dave Kearney, referred to Haffins’ last state Senate election, saying, “He certainly has a bloated opinion about his height against a man who lost eight points in reelection. “.

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Kearney suggested that Haffins and his allies had a “delusional grand idea” in proposing Abbott from the right.

“The sun rose this morning, but I wanted to be in the morning, but I didn’t trust it,” Kearney said. “I’m crazy.”

Regarding Abbott’s latest executive order on vaccination obligations, Kearney said it was a complete response to President Joe Biden’s announcement that large private employers would have to demand vaccinations from their employees. According to Kearney, the announcement was confusing to businesses, and Abbott wanted to anticipate the policy before it came into effect.

Huffins, still soaring against Abbott, has benefited from the lack of a serious Democratic challenger to the governor, paying virtually all attention to the Republican Primary. Still, Democrats have warned of his campaign. And recently, one of his television ads pointed out how he used the same “aggression” rhetoric for the border behind the 2019 El Paso Wal-Mart shooting.

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“This is not surprising from the Republicans of Texas today.” Huffins, Abbott, and many others said in a statement after the ad was released, Texas Democratic Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said. Prioritizing their political career at the expense of the security of millions of Texas people. “

Huffins Do not apologize..

Benefits of Abbott

Huffins is one of at least three major challengers trying to deny Abbott’s third phase. The other was former Texas Republican Chairman Allen West, who was critical of Abbott but less aggressive than Haffins in trying to pull the governor to the right. Conservative commentator Chad Plaza is also challenging Abbott.

The governor remains a primary and favorite, at least based on voting and funding. According to a Quinnipiac University survey released at the end of last month, 80% of Republicans support Abbott’s reelection.

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Abbott had $ 55 million in cash at the end of June and has raised at least $ 4.5 million ever since, according to two latest election funding reports covering July 7-September 2. .. Huffins $ 185,000; and Father $ 26,000.

One of Abbott’s latest filing top donors was James Huffins, an Austin banker who had previously said he was a brother of Don Haffins and would remain a supporter of Abbott despite his brother’s campaign. ..

Don Haffins, however, stands out in key areas because of his ability to self-fund. He started his campaign with a $ 4.5 million bank loan he guaranteed and another $ 500,000 he lent directly to himself. And given that the two latest reports did not require him to disclose such a loan, he could do much more.

Huffins is already spending a fair amount of money, covering the state with signs promising to abolish property taxes and “stop giving our money to illegal people.” He placed a television ad during the Texas-Oklahoma football game on Saturday, vowed to “stop illegal intrusions,” and showed Fox News host Tucker Carlson a clip criticizing Abbott for border security. ..

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Despite the growing attacks on Huffins, Abbott still has the most sought after support in Republican politics. It is the support of former President Donald Trump.

But nonetheless, Abbott’s intra-party critics have been working to question the integrity of June’s support. Trump didn’t discourage them because he repeatedly asked Abbott to add an election audit bill to the current special session call. This is a suggestion that Haffins is also putting pressure on Abbott to prioritize.

Mr. Huffins said Mr. Trump’s support for Abbott did not interfere with his campaign “as we expected.” Former President Huffins added, “Clearly I struck a gun at this.”

Katrina Pearson, a former Trump campaigner from North Texas who supports the Huffins, said Trump was misunderstood to support Abbott.

“That’s a shame, but what we’ve learned over the years is that his support is great when it’s a Trump candidate,” Pearson said. “We also learned that even President Trump can’t pull supporters other than Trump across the finish line.”

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Race to the right

Perhaps there is no problem showing that Abbott Huffins is competing to the right beyond border guards. Abbott has taken an unprecedented set of steps to crack down on illegal immigrants under Biden, including building state border walls, calling for the arrest of illegally cross-border migrants, and calling on the Biden administration to declare. I did. Federal emergency there.

But it’s not enough for Haffins, who wants to say they don’t “seek permission” from the federal government to strengthen their borders. He vowed to surpass Abbott in at least two ways, deploy the entire Texas National Guard at the border, and block all commercial inbound traffic with Mexico until Mexico secured the border side.

Asked about the potential catastrophic impact on the Texas economy, Huffins compared that strategy with cancer treatment.

“Chemotherapy isn’t that fun, but it still works,” says Huffins.

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Border security isn’t the only problem that Abbott is swinging to the right like never before. Still, Huffins isn’t happy. Huffins defended that there are no exceptions to rape after Abbott signed an almost total ban on new abortions in Texas last month, stating that survivors still have a short period to obtain an abortion. In the first six weeks of pregnancy, he accused Abbott of advocating for women to have an abortion. “

Encouraged by the Houston Chronicle story, Haffins called on Abbott on Wednesday to dismiss state officials who allegedly used LGBTQ youth resources to approve web pages.

Abbott supporters say it is not the concern about his primary, but the Biden administration that focuses on many of the issues that Haffins is overwhelming, such as borders.

“I think Governor Abbott has a very keen political antenna and I think he is actively and vigorously working on his work, both as governor and as a candidate,” said Rick Perry, Abbott’s predecessor. Said Ray Sullivan, Chief of Staff of the. It collided non-stop with the Democratic White House. “But I think many of the governor’s attention activities, especially this latest activity on vaccines, are a reaction to the federal government that goes far beyond state politics.”

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Confront the west

One obstacle could be the West, as Huffins is getting more and more attention in his campaign. West started the race with higher name recognition and seems to be taking a different route in the primary. Huffins has played the role of an anti-Abbott attack dog, but West is more restrained and speaks critically about the governor, but less frequently and with fewer bombs.

Their different approaches were fully exhibited at the Conservative Political Activities Council in Dallas in July. Huffins has achieved Abbott’s fierce takedown. West rarely mentioned that he was running for governor.

When asked how he differs from the West, Huffins quoted his experience in Congress and said it would give him a “running start.” However, shortly after the interview, Huffins provided a clearer contrast with West and issued a statement that he repeatedly stated that he was “100% professional life without exception.” The statement did not mention West, but hours after the announcement of an interview that West said he would support the abortion ban exception for rape survivors until cardiac activity was detected in the embryo.

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West couldn’t comment on this story.

Huffins was able to enclose the overwhelming majority of anti-Abbott support in the primary. He has been endorsed by Abbott critics with voices like former state legislator Jonathan Stickland of Bedford. A long list of activists. Some numbers from Trump orbits like Pearson. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and his libertarian icon father, Ron Paul.

Meanwhile, Abbott continues to maintain a stable political schedule, and although he doesn’t mention his major competitors, he urges Republicans to stick with him next year.

“To do this, we must unite as a party,” Abbott said in East Texas on Monday. “If we split, Texas will fall. If Texas falls, America will fall.”

Disclosure: Walmart Stores Inc. is a financial supporter of Texas Tribune, a non-profit, non-partisan news organization partially funded by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in tribune journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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“Very influential” or “magnificent delusional idea”?Republican main enemy Don Huffines sees the impact when Governor Greg Abbott pushes to the right

Source link “Very influential” or “magnificent delusional idea”?Republican main enemy Don Huffines sees the impact when Governor Greg Abbott pushes to the right

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