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.