By Jack Fink

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Like some Texas conservatives, Don Huffines has criticized Gov. Greg Abbott, so he’s decided to run against him. “I, like most Texans, we’re tired of being lied to. We’re tired of broken and empty promises.”

When asked why he believes Republican voters would favor his nomination over the governor, Huffines said, “I can tell you this. I’d hate to be running on his record. Texans are real smart people. They can see the fact that this is a failed administration.”

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The former state senator from Dallas blamed the governor for the power outages resulting from February’s winter storms.

Huffines also said Abbott didn’t do a good job of handling the pandemic early on and didn’t reopen the Texas economy soon enough. “The governor never had the authority in my opinion to shred the Constitution that he did. The Constitution doesn’t give him the authority to pick winners and losers, which businesses are going to be open, which ones aren’t.”

He said one of his top priorities is border security. “The border is wide open. Thousands of illegals are pouring across the border every single day. This is an invasion.. I’m going to secure the border by finishing the wall.”

When asked how the state would finish building a border wall and whether he would need the legislature’s approval, Huffines said, “Well, maybe, maybe not. I think the legislature will see the light and make sure they understand that this is an emergency. We’ve got over $10 to $12 billion in the rainy-day fund.”

The state spends about $800 million every two years to help secure the border.

Huffines didn’t give a specific amount of how much more the state should spend.

Another top priority of his is eliminating the property tax. “The first thing you got to do to eliminate the property tax is have a leader, have leadership in the governor’s mansion that wants to get rid of the property tax.”

According to the Texas Comptroller’s office, property taxes generated more than $67 billion dollars statewide in 2019.

When asked how he would make up that revenue from eliminating the property tax, Huffines said, “There’s a lot of paths to get there. There are alternative ways to get there, but the fundamental thing, we got to do is quit spending all our revenue.”

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Huffines said preventing election fraud is another top priority.

Dr. Kimi King, a political science professor at the University of North Texas, said Huffines is “a firmly credentialed conservative.”

She said she believes Huffines would be able to raise a substantial amount of money and that his campaign will have an impact on Abbott’s re-election bid. “One of the things that may make this a little more difficult is that Abbott will have to clearly push more towards the right to address the Huffines candidacy.”

A recent UT-Texas Tribune poll showed the governor has the support of 77% of Republicans.

Before the legislative session began in January, the governor announced his campaign war chest stood at $38 million dollars, which will likely increase.

King said Abbott has the power of incumbency. “He certainly has the two most important things we’re looking for: name recognition and experience, as well as the cash to put forward a formidable campaign.”

She said during his two terms, the governor has overseen a growing Texas economy and population, but that she wouldn’t be surprised to see other Republicans challenge him.

Actor Matthew McConaughey has said he’s considering running for Governor.

Former Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who came close to unseating Sen. Ted Cruz and ran for president, has said he’s also considering entering the race.

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