They are on the walls, perched on the shelves, tucked into corners. They are the mementos and pictures of a life spent largely in politics, and if he wants to keep the job, Texas Sen. Jeff Wentworth has to defeat a woman who is a relative newcomer to politics and his district.
"She has no roots at all in Senate District 25, she's lived in Columbus, Texas, for the last 13 years, on 2 acres, which I'm sure she's happy with. She rented a house in New Braunfels a few months ago in order to run for the senate," said Wentworth.
Dr. Donna Campbell ran against Lloyd Doggett for U.S. Congress two years ago. She was the surprise of election night, beating out well-funded Elizabeth Ames-Jones in the Republican Primary and forcing a run-off with Wentworth.
"I don't think, Miss Campbell, or Dr. Campbell, got into the runoff because of anything, frankly, that she did. I think it was a rejection of the mudslinging that was involved at the end of that campaign," said Wentworth.
It was a commercial war of words between Jones and Wentworth, that involved puppet strings and lawsuits. Now, Wentworth has the task of mending fences with Jones' supporters in order to defeat Dr. Donna Campbell.
"We have been friends for decades. There’s no reason for us to remain adversaries forever, so that's why I say I’m willing to drop the case, and I'm willing to drop it today," said Wentworth.
But according to Wentworth, Jones' attorneys won’t drop their suit, so his defamation suit stands. He is also focusing on his resume: County Commissioner, State Representative and State Senator, and the fact Dr. Donna Campbell’s history in the district, is a very recent one.
In fact, both Campbell and Jones moved into the district to run. Wentworth said he's an independent, and that can make you a target. He's also leery of a late July election day, where the key will be to get your voters out.
“I don't think you want to replace somebody who is a senior member of the legislature, who gets things done, and knows the district very well, with someone who has no experience in the district," said Wentworth.
He believes there’s time for him to mend fences with Jones' supporters before the July 31st runoff. If not the souvenirs and mementos that line his office, will end up in moving boxes.