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May 30th, 2012
Audio: Incumbent, upstart to battle for State Senate seat



State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, might have expected a runoff in the contested Republican primary. But instead of well-funded former Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones – Wentworth will go up against Tea Party favorite Donna Campbell.

Audio: Ben Philpott’s story for KUT News

In the weeks leading up to the election, the battle between Wentworth and Ames Jones flooded the airwaves.

Jones attacked Wentworth with accusations of wrongdoing and criminal investigations. Wenworth fought back by calling Jones a puppet of Texans for Lawsuit Reform, the tort reform group that dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Jones campaign.

Little was heard from Campbell. She struggled to raise funds, amassing only about $100,000. Third-place finisher Jones and her supporters spent $1.5 million.

But it was Campbell who recieved the most votes in four of the six counties in Senate District 25. So Campbell could be in line to get some of the same special-interest money that fueled the Jones campaign. During a phone interview while working a shift as an emergency room physician, Campbell said the money doesn’t interest her.

“I am truly not interested in fighting someone else’s battle,” Campbell said, “we are focused on the issues that are important to Texans.”

She did, however, say she looked forward to talking with Jones about getting her support in the runoff.

Wentworth said last night that he was glad to have finished in first place. He’ll need his support in Bexar County to get another win in the July 31 runoff election.

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BEN PHILPHOTT reports for KUT News where this story originally aired. It is rebroadcast here through a news partnership between the San Marcos Mercury and the Texas Tribune.

COVER PHOTO: State Senate candidate Donna Campbell at the 2010 Texas Republican Party convention. PHOTO via RAMPARTS360.COM

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