Crazy Doctor to Primary Hairy-Legged Man For SD-25

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The new State Senate District 25. See the full map here.

Pop some corn, ladies and gentlemen, because today Dr. Donna Campbell made it official — she is going to primary State Senator Jeff Wentworth for SD 25. SD 25 includes a chunk of of South Austin, plus all or part of Hays, Kendall, Comal, Bexar and Guadalupe Counties. It is pretty hard-core Republican territory.

Y'all should remember Dr. Donna from 2010, when she ran a spirited race against Lloyd Doggett, and lost. She's a Tea Party zealot and extreme right winger, so it will be interesting to see how she does in a 2012 primary with Rick Perry also on the ballot. (She won a GOP primary in 2010, besting George Morovich 70%-30%.)

This should be interesting. Dr. Donna is viewed by many as being actually insane. Wentworth raised more than a few eyebrows last session with his relentless determination to pass his Guns in Campus Buildings bill, even trying to prevent Senator Wendy Davis from attending her own kid's high school graduation in Fort Worth, threatening to bring the bill up for a vote while she was away.

Expect escalating rhetoric around abortion. Wentworth has always been moderate on the issue — he even voted against the Sonogram bill this last session, providing one of the best lines of the debate when he said “I personally am a hairy-legged male who will never be pregnant.” True.

Meanwhile, Dr. Donna thinks abortion runs counter to her medical training. She wrote on her former Congressional campaign website,

There is perhaps no issue closer to my heart than protecting the sanctity of life. The lost lives that result from abortions are lost hopes, our lost moments with future family members, and the lost dreams of an entire generation. In founding America, we made a promise to protect Life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. In keeping that promise, we are called by a higher power to speak up for those who cannot defend themselves.

Fear not — if elected, Dr. Donna will do absolutely nothing to provide for the pursuit of education, health care, or quality of life of these forced births. Also, “those who cannot defend themselves” will most assuredly mean only the unborn Texans, not the millions of people victimized by Rick Perry and the Republican legislature this last session.

By the by, she also had an “Issues” page on God.

Wentworth's probably going to have a difficult time explaining the abortion issue away — if there's one thing Republican primary voters hate more than LGBT rights or minorities, it's women's reproductive rights!

Also interesting to see is if Campbell's army of Tea Party activists who came to help in 2010 from around the country will return this cycle. They were pretty creepy, canvassing every house in South Austin in red shirts and camoflage pants, as I recall. At least by blanket-canvassing precincts with >60% DPI they saved TCDP and the Doggett campaign some work.

Should be an interesting race. Wentworth has served in the Senate since 1993, and in the Texas House from 1988-1993. He already announced that he's running again. Wentworth tried to get a cushy university administrative gig, but it didn't pan out. (I guess he's no Brian McCall or John Sharp.) It would not have surprised me if he had retired after this past session; apparently Dr. Donna is going to try and do the honors for him.

Dr. Donna, by the way, does not currently live in the district (she lives in Hagar's district), but is apparently planning to move to Hays County. She's originally from Oklahoma. She wants to “make America exceptional again.” Strategic upside: since she ran for CD-25 last cycle, and is running for SD-25 now, all of her old campaign merch with “25” on it can be repurposed. (I am guessing she's opposed to recycling, but arguably she should be in favor of saving money, right?)

In any case, this primary is likely to be pretty brutal. There's a chance the candidates will run so far to the right, they may actually fall off the edge of the 6000-year-old flat earth Donna Campbell thinks she occupies.

Good times!


About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.


  1. It could be worse
    She could have won in the redistricted CD-25 running from Hays/SW Travis Counties to Brownwood, over to Cleburne, and ending up in Coriscana. I think she could have beat both former Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams and State Rep Sid Miller R-Stephenville in that congressional district.

    Maybe Sen Wentworth or a moderate Democrat from San Antonio in SD-25 can stop the coming freight train to be known as the Tea Party Express.  

  2. Not me
    Slim chance for a Democrat to take this seat, so I'd prefer the moderate Republican to the insane one Okie.

  3. Wentworth is all over the map
    Awful on things like guns-on-campus, great on pushing for a non-partisan redistricting commission year after year after year. Of course I'd much rather have a Dem in his seat, but he's much, much better than Campbell would be.

    Electing crazies doesn't just result in bad laws for the person's term. It undermines the whole structure of democracy. Do not go there.  

  4. but Wentworth is passionate about certain insane issues
    I tend to think Campbell is insane, but that she won't passionately fight for insane issues, such as guns on campus, like Wentworth would.

  5. Eh
    I guess I don't see evidence to base that on. Why do you think she won't be passionate about her batshit crazy worldview?

    Passion aside, she's one more vote for crap like the sonogram bill. Can you think of any issue where Campbell would be to the left of Wentworth? Would she introduce bills to make redistricting non-partisan? Why would you want the more extreme right-winger to be elected?

  6. You are both right.
    Campbell will vote for every right-wing loon idea that comes her way. I am sure she will be more extreme than Wentworth.

    However, Wentworth currently uses his seniority to force the legislative process — he was the singular driving force behind Guns on Campus.

    A freshman Senator like Campbell would likely not be able to advance her own agenda as well as a senior senator like Wentworth. She would not have the institutional knowledge or relationships with other Senators.

    Plus, I highly doubt that she would make Guns on Campus her signature issue.

  7. Is Guns On Campus the only issue of importance?
    That bill sucked, but I don't understand the fixation. This is the Texas Lege, there were plenty of awful bills.

    This seat will be reliably GOP for the foreseeable future. Give Campbell a foothold, and she will gain seniority over time. Until then, she will resist any efforts at compromise or moderation. I just don't see why staff members on a Democratic blog would advocate for making the Lege even more right wing.

  8. It is an important issue to this site, and to many of our readers.
    And it's worth noting that without Wentworth, it's probably DOA. It's part of the debate, along with his support for choice. And seniority.

    We shall see how the voters respond. Maybe someone else will jump in too.

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