Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

Sen. Donald Huffines District 16 (R-Dallas)

Industry
Real Estate
Education
B.B.A., University of Texas at Austin
Spouse
Mary Catherine
Committees
  • Veteran Affairs & Border Security (Vice-Chair)
  • Administration
  • Education
  • Intergovernmental Relations
  • Natural Resources and Economic Development
Financial Statements

Sources of Income

  • Huffines is a multimillionaire real estate developer based in Dallas. He co-owns Huffines Communities, a real estate development company in North Texas, with his twin brother, Phillip. At his office address for Huffines Communities in Dallas, Huffines lists 20 companies that he has a business interest in. 

  • He is the grandson of famed Dallas-area car dealer J. L. Huffines Sr. His brother Ray Huffines runs the family's auto sales business, Huffines Auto Group, which operates nine dealerships in North Texas. Another brother, James, is an Austin investment banker who who has served on the University of Texas System Board of Regents. James Huffines has also served as president and COO of PlainsCapital Corporation and was a patronage secretary in Republican Gov. Bill Clements' administration in the 1980s.

Property

  • Residential property in Dallas, valued at $5.85 million

  • Residential property in Dallas, valued at $1.1 million

Analysis

  • Huffines ran on a Republican platform of curbing taxes and reducing government intrusion into Texan’s lives. But as a real estate developer, Huffines backed the 2013 taxing district expansion bill, sponsored by then-state Sen. Ken Paxton, that raised money for roads in Huffines’ suburban “Inspiration” development by taxing future homeowners. Huffines and Paxton said the district gave voters local control - and the ability to set tax rates. But reporting revealed that the election to set high tax rates on future homeowners was decided by a single voter. The Inspiration project began development the following year. After Paxton’s bill was signed into law, The Texas Tribune revealed that later that month the Huffines brothers contributed a combined $15,000 to Paxton’s campaign. Matthew Langston, Huffines’ campaign manager commented that the contribution was unrelated to the taxing district.