Patriot Challengers Gain Ground Against Greg Abbott In Texas Primary
Recent Texas GOP chairman Allen West, former state senator Don Huffines, and musician Chad Prather are among the patriot challengers standing up to Republican Texas governor Greg Abbott in the March 1 Texas gubernatorial primary. If no candidate manages to gain over 50 percent of the primary vote then the nominating contest heads to a runoff in May between the top two vote-getters. The race also includes “Ricky Lynn Perry,” a man with a similar name to former Texas governor Rick Perry, who is picking up some support in polling presumably because some people think it’s the Rick Perry who served as governor and worked in the Trump administration. A lawyer with ties to Huffines reportedly notarized Ricky Perry’s candidate form but Huffines said that he had nothing to do with the man’s candidacy.
While Abbott has the benefit of incumbency, he also alienated many conservatives by imposing strict Coronavirus restrictions in 2020. Abbott did not finally lift the statewide mask mandate in Texas and allow businesses to fully re-open until March 2021, after Texans had already felt the brunt of Abbott’s Coronavirus tyranny. Some observers felt that Abbott was pressured to change course due to Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ more spirited — albeit compromised — rejection of Coronavirus tyranny measures in the Sunshine State.
Abbott is also taking some of the blame for the massive surge of illegal migrants pouring into the state of Texas. As Allen West tweeted Thursday, “Under Gov Abbott, TX cities are becoming centers of crime & violence. Impeaching activist judges who release violent repeat offenders needs to occur. Abbott is abdicating his responsibility and allowing law and order to collapse from Houston to the border.”
Patriots are seizing the opportunity to challenge Abbott. A recent straw poll conducted at the Tarrant County Candidate Fair in Hurst, Texas yielded optimistic results for the patriot challengers. Greg Abbott failed to reach a 50 percent threshold in the straw poll while Allen West picked up approximately 25 percent support and Don Huffines gained 21 percent support, with other candidates including Prather earning some votes.
Gab founder Andrew Torba had some special words for Abbott, who used the bully pulpit of the governorship to accuse Gab of being “Anti-Semitic.” Abbott infamously sat in front of a flag of Israel when he denounced Gab. Torba has not forgotten.
“I love how Abbott attacked Gab last year and now his two top challengers are using Gab to outflank him. Going to be very interesting to see how this unfolds!,” Torba stated in response to my commentary on Allen West and Don Huffines. Both West and Huffines post content on their Gab accounts.
In a recent Paradigm Partners Texas Statewide Poll for Allen West’s campaign, Allen West leads Abbott with approximately 38 percent support compared to 33 percent for Abbott, 12 percent for Ricky Lynn Perry, 5 percent for Don Huffines, 3 percent for Chad Prather, and 1 percent each for three others, with approximately 7 percent undecided.
Paradigm Partners stated in its poll report: “The most recent poll shows “Rick Perry’s” support (the candidate on the ballot is a real person named Rick Perry, it is not the former Governor of Texas Rick Perry ) staying strong among “low information” voters but beginning to level off at 12%. Don Huffines has reversed his downward trend that started when Allen West entered the race in July. Our understanding of the U shaped phenomenon in Huffines support is that he consolidated early support of the “Anti-Abbott” Voters, but lost support when another alternative entered the race (Allen West). He has spent substantial money campaigning around the state and hiring many “grassroots type” staff, his support trends younger and more active voter (4 of 4). Both Chad Prather and Don Huffines supporters would be classified as very “sticky” they are convinced and “fired up” to support their respective candidate. Some Prather support is likely “non-traditional” Republican voters and will not be fully captured in this poll of historical voters in the Republican Primary.”
“This race and this election cycle are fascinating to say the least. It is our projection that the gubernatorial race has now entered “runoff territory” with Rick Perry’s entrance into the race. In discussions with campaign staff for the Governor, the last couple weeks have been chaotic and feverish as the team has begun contemplating the prospect of being forced into a runoff this year. This would be the first time Abbott has ever had a contested race (primary or general) in his lifelong political career,” Paradigm Partners stated in its poll report.
On the topic of the similarly named “Rick Perry” running for governor, Paradigm noted, “When these poll results were shown to the actual Rick Perry, former Republican Governor of Texas, his answer and response was a series of grunts and facial distortions. He was rumored to be considering a run against Abbott early last year.”
Abbott put up some very weak numbers on an issue-by-issue basis in the Paradigm Partners/Allen West Internal poll:
Allen West is clearly feeling some populist momentum, hanging out with patriot rocker Ted Nugent.
Greg Abbott, meanwhile, is clinging to the establishment side of the GOP landscape, touting an endorsement from neocon political operator Nikki Haley.