Six candidates- five Republicans and one Democrat- are vying to replace disgraced former State Representative Bryan Slaton in the House District 2 special election that will be held on November 7. House District 2 is a solidly Republican district in East Texas that covers Hopkins, Hunt, and Van Zandt counties.
Attorney and former Greenville city councilman Brent Money and businesswoman Jill Dutton, who formerly served as President of the Republican Women of Van Zandt, are viewed as the leading candidates in the race.
Although Donald Trump received 79.7% of the vote in House District 2 in 2020, one Republican candidate seeking to Represent the district has a long record of advocacy opposing Trump.
Shortly before the 2016 general election, Brent Money- then a Greenville, Texas city council member- appeared on Tomi Lahren’s television program on The Blaze to give a “Never Trump” perspective on the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton. Money attacked Trump’s character and questioned his commitment to principles during his appearance.
“I don’t think that using bad language or talking about distasteful things necessarily disqualifies you from the presidency. But I do think that when you have a person who has the kind of moral character, or immoral character, who is impulsive, who is selfish, who is entitled, I think those things will impact every decision he makes as president or as governor or as congressman or whoever it is,” said Money during his appearance with Lahren. “He says he’ll lower taxes. I don’t believe him. He says that he’s now kind of pro-life. I don’t believe him. And part of the reason I don’t believe him is because of the character he demonstrates when the mic is off. I think that he is concerned with Donald Trump and Donald Trump alone.”
Money’s anti-Trump rhetoric did not end with the 2016 election. In a Twitter post on February 5 this year, Money questioned Trump’s viability in the Republican Primary.
“Trump lost in 2020 as an incumbent. How in the world will he win in 2024, even in the unlikely event that Republicans nominate him again?” wrote Money.
On April 9, Money again took to Twitter to express his disdain for Trump, saying, “Trump has been tested and lost. Not just lost the election, he lost control of his administration before that. Before the election, Trump empowered and platformed Fauci to shut down businesses and schools and there were violent riots across the country. He’s an ineffective loser.”
In another tweet, Money expressed his support for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis against Trump. “DeSantis actually believes in the conservative principles that Trump only pretended to AND he has the knowledge, focus, and leadership skills to put those beliefs into action, said Money.
Money has also touted endorsements from groups whose leaders have vocally criticized Trump. Money has been endorsed by the True Texas Project, whose PAC President, Fred McCarty, has claimed that Trump has been insufficiently supportive of white people. “Would it have killed Trump to do something/anything for white voters? He didn’t deliver shit. He did offer to give blacks a half a trillion dollars! That got him a nominal bump in support,” wrote McCarty in a November 4, 2020 Tweet.
Governor Greg Abbott has also been a target of Money’s social media posts. In a tweet dated February 27, 2022, Money described Abbott as “weak and spineless” and claimed that Abbott “doesn’t do anything without a poll.”
Money was a supporter of and donor to Don Huffines’ unsuccessful 2022 Republican primary challenge to Abbott, and Huffines has contributed over $1,000 to Money’s campaign for State Representative. Abbott received 65.6% of the Republican primary vote for Governor in House District 2, while Huffines received 11.8% in the district.