Last week during the Republican Party of Texas Convention, Texas Scorecard had the chance to sit down and interview former state senator and former gubernatorial candidate Don Huffines.

Although Huffines lost the primary election in March, he has continued to stay involved with Texas politics, attending the Texas GOP Convention as a delegate.

That wasn’t the only reason for Huffines’ attendance, however. Last week, he announced his new initiative, the Huffines Liberty Foundation.

The foundation is a 501(c)3 that plans to educate and promote the ideas of liberty and freedom through newsletters, seminars, and op-eds.

According to the foundation’s website, the Huffines Liberty Foundation exists to “promote individual rights, fiscal restraint, personal responsibility, limited government, and social conservatism.” The foundation will also encourage elected officials and hold them accountable for their actions and words.

“Our goal and our mission is to educate Texans about liberty and freedom, and to help them hold their elected officials accountable to liberty and freedom,” Huffines said. 

During his tenure in the Texas Senate from 2015 to 2019, Huffines was deemed one of Texas’ most conservative lawmakers, authoring legislation that uncovered one of the largest government corruption scandals in Texas history. 

He also saw that elected Republicans weren’t following what the majority of Republican activists wanted to see the Legislature accomplish. 

“Our party, unfortunately, has been run by Republicans who don’t necessarily believe in our platform. If someone is a Republican—and calls themselves a Republican—and they don’t agree with half of the platform or three-quarters of the platform, what are they? Are they really a Republican?” 

While the Republican-led state Legislature has made strides on issues such as constitutional carry and the Heartbeat Act, Huffines says Texas Republicans still need to keep a watchful eye on their elected officials. 

For example, many Republican legislators have continued to support Democrats holding committee chairmanships. Delegates to the convention largely supported ending the practice.  

This is exactly why Huffines says he created his foundation. He believes that more Republican activists are starting to take note of what their elected officials are doing. 

“There’s a great shift right now, and I think a lot of our elected Republicans are scared. They understand that the narrative has shifted; it shifted to the fact that the party platform clearly defines who we are as Texas Republicans, and it clearly defines what Republicans in Texas want to see in the law. And I think the more we broadcast that out there and hold them accountable, the more you’re going to see it.”

 

Emily Wilkerson

Emily is a summer fellow for Texas Scorecard. She is a senior at the University of Oklahoma, studying journalism with a minor in political science. She enjoys investigative journalism and making sure that every side of a story is being told.

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