After debuting on the political stage with a spirited campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett in 2010, Donna Campbell has picked her next target: veteran Republican state Sen. Jeff Wentworth.
Already, there are plenty of contested seats in the Texas Senate, with the retirement of budget guru Steve Ogden (R-Bryan), longtime Senate Education Committee chair Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) and Sen. Mike Jackson (R-La Porte). Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis is fighting back against a redrawn district that would make her especially vulnerable to a Republican challenge.
But as Texans for Financial Responsibility president Michael Quinn Sullivan wrote on his blog, the tiny-government crowd sees a big opportunity to fill the state’s upper chamber with like-minded lawmakers.
Wentworth, who pushed a bill last session that would’ve allowed handguns on college campuses, is for unrelated reasons seen as a somewhat moderate member, and, Sullivan writes, “on shaky ground with [his] primary base.”
Wentworth voted against the mandatory pre-abortion sonogram bill passed earlier this year, for one thing. That his office accidentally delivered a “Happy New Year” mailer to his constituents last month also hasn’t escaped Sullivan’s notice.
Like Campbell, tea party favorite Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) didn’t have any political experience before his first election — and while he was seen as an outlier in his freshman session, Texas Republican primary voters have shifted his way since then.
As the Texas Independent reported fall, Campbell ran a successful fundraising campaign in her attempt to unseat Doggett, and wasn’t deterred by naysayers who suggested she needed more experience in government before running.
As the Texas Independent pointed out in June, Doggett’s redrawn congressional district has set him up for a tough Democratic primary challenge, but also made it hard for Campbell, or any other Republican, to get elected there.
Instead, the emergency room doctor brought the same promises from her congressional campaign to her new bid for Austin. The Gonzales Cannon quoted Campbell on her announcement:
“Texas embodies the conservative dream in America. The voters of Senate District 25 deserve to have a Senator who accurately represents their conservative values. The call for limited government, fiscal responsibility, and unwavering family values cannot be ignored any longer.”
As the blog Burnt Orange Report also recalled, Campbell’s old campaign site included an “issues” page on God.