In the wake of the unexpected vacancy in the chairmanship of the Dallas County Republican Party, two candidates have emerged to compete for the position. The fight pits a conservative businessman against a moderate establishmentarian. One is known for supporting conservatives, the other for pushing amnesty for illegal aliens.
Cobbling campaigns together at the moment are Dallas businessman Phillip Huffines (the twin brother of State Sen. Don Huffines) and Elizabeth Bingham.
Both are known commodities, Huffines for being an extremely successful businessman and prolific political donor, Bingham for her history of activist involvement in the county party. But it’s her history that’s raised concerns for several local Republican activists.
To many Elizabeth Bingham goes by another name, Elizabeth Alvarez, and operates a law firm that “focuses on immigration and removal defense.” In her online biography, she touts her involvement on the immigration issue and speaks of conversations with many leaders including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, an author of the 2012 “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill.
Bingham’s liberal leanings on immigration aren’t the only items of concern, according to some conservatives in Dallas. Precinct chairs have also expressed unease with her pro-LGBT social media posts, including those mocking Christians.
In several posts referring to the Indiana couple who refused to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding, she undermined concerns expressed by those fearing continued government persecution of their religious liberty – as defined by their own conscience. She accused individuals of hypocrisy in choosing which activities they endorse.
“[M]aybe we should just allow people who are Christian enough [to] buy cakes. No barmitzvah cakes, no out of wedlock baby shower cakes, no cakes for engagement parties if couples have had premarital sex, no cakes for divorced people remarrying and no cakes made by catholic bakers for people who use birth control because you’re not operating a business that’s permitted by the state, you’re operating a bakery attached to a church feeding those approved by Jesus, whom you personal get instructions from.”
Texas is one of many states that legally defined marriage between one man and one woman, through a voter-approved constitutional amendment.
On the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision that intended to legalize gay marriage nationwide, Bingham posted “Celebrating marriage equality!!” to Facebook. Three days later, she shared an article from a liberal blog with the headline “The Chief Justice’s Gay Marriage Dissent is Heartless.”
Activists have circulated other fascinating posts by Bingham, including one where she writes: “Being a Socialist, while regrettable, is not in opposition to the Constitution.”
Whether or not these issues become more broadly relevant in the race for the DCGOP chairmanship has yet to be seen. While there is political opposition in certain Dallas circles against the Huffines family, including those sympathetic to former State Sen. John Carona and local government interest groups, Republican activists have yet to share any policy-related criticisms of Huffines’ brother, Phil.