John Carona Challenger Don Huffines Comes Out Swinging

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Fresh off an endorsement from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, a Republican Political Action Committee run by none other than Michael Quinn Sullivan, Don Huffines is pulling no punches in his bid against 23-year incumbent Senator John Carona.

John Carona has been a staple in the Texas Senate Chamber since 1996 and before that served in the Texas House of Representatives since 1990. This is the first time Carona has ever faced a primary opponent, although he has been challenged by a Democrat more than a few times in the general election.

Just yesterday an ad was released by Huffines in which Senator John Carona is compared to a 20-year-old computer.

Click below the jump to see the TV ad from Don Huffines attacking John Carona.  

While the ad is an attack ad questioning Carona's intentions, which have been raised before, it also raises the question of the value of age and seniority as a politician. Senator Carona has been in the senate 16 years and with that comes experience, integrity, and a steady hand throughout partisan scuffles. This is something the Senate used to be known for as well, being a deliberative body that can sift through the noise of the Texas House of Representatives.

While the Senate is traditionally a chamber where partisanship is set aside, new tea party faces like Donna Campbell are changing the tone of the upper chamber. Campbell rose to the Senate by defeating a long term incumbent in a Republican primary, and she has already drawn another primary opponent for next year. Include Huffines and the possibility of a new President of the Senate with the 4-way Lieutenant Governor's race, and the upper chamber could be a very noisy and chaotic place in 2015.

Carona's chances of losing his seat are the highest they have ever been. Huffines, with the strong and boisterous support of the intemperate Michael Quinn Sullivan, as well as Tim Lambert the President of The Texas Home School Coalition, Carona will have to prove why experience matters, and also prove his right wing credentials to primary voters.    


About Author

Chaille Jolink

Chaille Jolink was born and raised in Austin, Texas and has more than a decade of experience working in Texas politics. Her interest began when she was a Senate Messenger in 2003, and she's since worked for several different legislators and candidates. She started reporting in 2007 for, and has been a contributor to several different publications. Chaille is a graduate of the University of Texas and enjoys fashion, baseball, and playing any team sport. Chaille tweets @ChailleMcCann.


  1. Tweedledee versus Tweedledum
    I often find myself stuck in traffic on I-635 and I-35. The traffic jams are the results of the bankrupt political views that John Carona and Don Huffines share. John Carona is a poster boy for term limits. As long as the State legislature continues to create uncompetitive legislative districts, I support term limits to reduce the advantage that incumbents have. My experience with Carona's constituent service was poor. As a state legislator, Carona has failed to acknowledge that providing transportation infrastructure costs money and that population growth in Texas requires increased transportation funding. As a real estate developer, Don Huffines relies on his ability to transfer many of his costs to the taxpayers. Would any of his projects make sense if he and his cronies had to actually fund the infrastructure such as roads, schools and parks that his projects require? Although Huffines has probably received more cumulative corporate welfare than Carona, I don't foresee either one calling the other one out for actually being a socialist instead of a responsible conservative who pays his own way.

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