Donald Huffines

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Donald Huffines
Don Huffines.jpg
Candidate for
Texas State Senate, District 16
Bachelor'sUniversity of Texas, Austin (1981)
Personal website
Campaign website
Donald Huffines was a 2014 Republican candidate for District 16 of the Texas State Senate. Huffines narrowly defeated incumbent John Carona in the state's March 4 primary. Since the only opponent in the November 4 general election is a Libertarian, Huffines is now considered a shoe-in for the seat.[1]

Huffines announced his challenge of incumbent John Carona, who is considered a "powerful establishment incumbent," in the Republican primary of the 2014 Texas State Senate elections in October 2013.[2] The 2014 election is Huffines' first campaign for public office.[3]

Over $6.3 million was spent in the fiercely-contested March 4 primary.[1]


Huffines graduated from the University of Texas, Austin in 1981 with a BBA in Finance. He started working for Henry S. Miller Company, the largest commercial brokerage company in Texas, in 1982. Huffines was promoted to vice president in 1984.[4]

Huffines started the company "Huffines Communities" in 1985, which has grown to be one of the largest real-estate developers in Dallas.[5] Huffines' grandfather opened a local car business in 1924 that is still run by Huffines' brother.[6]


Campaign themes


In announcing his campaign in October 2013, Huffines said he believes in "limited government, in cutting spending so we can decrease taxes. I believe in the traditional family." He added: "We’re going to raise enough money to get our message out – a career politician and one of the most liberal senators in Austin against a true conservative."[7][8] Huffines' politics are considered to have a "strong libertarian tinge."[9] Huffines listed a number of issues on his campaign website, including the following excerpts:

  • Term limits: Huffines said if elected he will not serve more than three terms.[10]
  • Taxes and Fees: Huffines said: "I believe that government should live within its means. It is my pledge to the voters not to increase taxes or fees. As government expands, the price tag falls on the taxpayers. We cannot afford this nor should we. I will work to find every tax dollar wasted on unnecessary fees and eliminate taxes that do nothing more than expand the role of government."[10]
  • Education: Huffines said: "I want to ensure that every child in Texas has the best education possible. I believe that no one knows better for his or her child than parents and families. While the Texas Constitution does provide for public education, kids are served best when parents have choices in education. I support families making the best decision regarding their children’s education and keeping the state out of the process as best as possible. As a father of five, I understand the difficult decisions that parents face. I support broadening the options available for families by making our public schools more competitive, capping the salaries of school administrators, expanding charter schools, and empowering both parents and teachers with choices."[10]



See also: Texas State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for 15 of the 31 seats in the Texas State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on March 4, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was December 9, 2013. Donald Huffines defeated incumbent John Carona in the Republican primary. Mike Dooling (L) filed for election but did not appear on the general election ballot. Huffines was unopposed in the general election.[11][12][13]

Prior to the March 4 primary, Huffines said Carona was too liberal and described the 18-year incumbent as out-of-touch in the district.[7] After Huffines declared for the seat, Carona said: "I’m surprised Mr. Huffines was running as a Republican considering that he spent a small fortune attacking Republicans in the 2012 presidential campaign, but I welcome a thorough debate on the issues facing Texans."[3] In 2012, Huffines helped form a SuperPAC that supported Ron Paul and spent more than $400,000 in the race.[7] Texas Monthly named Carona one of the worst legislators in 2013, pointing in part to his long absence during the session.[14]



Huffines has been endorsed by the following groups and individuals for the 2014 Texas State Senate election.

  • Dick Armey, former U.S. House Majority Leader[15]
  • Rand Paul, U.S. Senator from Kentucky[15]
  • Empower Texans[16]
  • Michael Quinn Sullivan, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility[15]
  • Tim Lambert, Texas Home School Coalition[15]
  • Cathie Adams, President, Texas Eagle Forum[15]
  • Denise McNamara, Former National Republican Committeewoman[15]
  • JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director, Grassroots America[15]
  • Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO, Liberty Institute[15]
  • Texas Right to Life[15]
  • David Barton, President of WallBuilders and former Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas[15]
  • Texas Conservative Digest[15]


Huffines and his wife, Mary Catherine, have four sons and one daughter.[5]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Dallas News, "Huffines narrowly wins nailbiter and ends Carona’s long Legislative career," March 5, 2014
  2. New York Times "Are You Experienced in Politics? Please Leave.," December 6, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Texas Tribune "Huffines Will Challenge Carona in SD-16 Primary," October 28, 2013
  4. Huffines Communities "Donald Huffines," accessed January 20, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 Don Huffines Campaign Website "About" Accessed January 20, 2014
  6. Dallas Morning News "Dallas developer Don Huffines to challenge John Carona for Texas Senate seat," October 28, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Dallas Morning News "Republican developer Don Huffines says he’ll be challenging Senate veteran John Carona from the right," October 28, 2013
  8. Texas Tribune ,"" November 29, 2013
  9. Dallas Morning News "Dallas-area races for Legislature bring heated primary challenges" December 10, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Don Huffines Campaign Website "Issues," accessed January 20, 2014
  11. Office of the Secretary of State, "1992 - Current ELECTION HISTORY," accessed July 26, 2014
  12. Green Party of Texas, "Greens Release Candidate List," accessed July 26, 2014
  13. The Libertarian Party of Texas, "2014 Texas Senate Candidates List," accessed July 26, 2014
  14. Texas Monthly "The Worst: Senator John Carona" accessed January 20, 2014
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 Don Huffines Campaign Website "Endorsements," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. "John Carona challenger Don Huffines airs ad during Fiesta Bowl," Dallas Morning News, January 2, 2014