With Plano representative Matt Shaheen opting to drop his bid for the Texas Senate and seek re-election in the House, the lane is clear for businessman Phillip Huffines to join his brother, Don, in the Senate chambers.
A betting man would put Phillip in that seat, so let’s do just that before going further. They’ll be the first brothers in Texas history to serve as senators at the same time. Which, obviously, also would make them the first twin senators. Don Huffines said as much in March, when his brother announced that he’d lent himself $1.5 million to run for Van Taylor’s seat. Taylor’s expected to make a go at a congressional seat, so he’s out of the way. According to the Texas Legislative Reference Library, Don Huffines is right. The closest we’ve come to that rarefied air is Ross and Doss Hardin, the former of whom served in the House from 1935 to 1941, the latter in the Senate from 1938 to 1940.
Currently, there are two sets of siblings in the Legislature: Reps. Dennis and Greg Bonnen, from Houston; and Rep. Tomas Uresti and his brother, state Sen. Carlos Uresti from San Antonio. (Which, mind you, may come to an end soon in the wake of Carlos’ indictment on fraud and bribery charges. Neither here nor there.)
Because you’ve made it this far, maybe you’d be interested in the other siblings who’ve served in the legislature at the same time. There aren’t many, according to the library.
- Rep. William H. and state Sen. James Bourland, (1843 – 1846 for William, 1846 – 1849 for James; from Lamar County)
- Former Governor (and Sen.) Joseph and Rep. William Sayers (1873 – 1874 for Joseph, 1873 – 1876 for William; from Gonzalez County)
- Rep. George and Rep./Sen. Henry Terrell (For George, 1899 – 1903; 1907 – 1913; 1917 – 1920; 1931 – 1933; Henry was a representative from 1901 – 1909 and a senator from 1909 – 1915, from Cherokee County)
- Rep. Alexander and Sen. William Pope (1887 – 1889 for Alexander, 1883 – 1893 for William; from Harrison County)
- Rep. Doyle and Rep. Phillip Willis (For Doyle, 1947 – 1963, 1969 – 1971, 1973 – 1997; For Phillip, 1947-1949; From Kaufman County)
- Rep. Bill and Rep. Jim Keffer (2003 – 2007 for Bill, 1997 – 2017 for Jim; Bill’s from Dallas County, Jim is from Eastland County)