Feb 17, 2022 - Politics

A Republican baroness is running for governor of Texas

A Kandy Kaye Horn for Governor billboard
Kandy Kaye Horn has spent more than $1 million on billboards like this across the state. Photo: Courtesy of Cormac West

Kandy Kaye Horn, a retired mortgage broker and philanthropist from Terrell, is the only woman running in the crowded Republican gubernatorial primary, March 1.

  • She’s also the only candidate who assumes the title of "baroness," which she bought online for $20,000.

Why it matters: Though she has virtually no chance in the race for governor, Horn has spent a reported $1.4 million of her own money campaigning, mostly in the form of billboards across Texas. She calls herself "a different kind of Republican."

Context: Horn is polling at around 1% in the Republican primary, according to recent data from the University of Texas/Texas Politics Project. That puts her in sixth in the eight-candidate field.

  • No incumbent governor in Texas has lost his or her party’s nomination since 1978, according to Ballotpedia.

Background: Horn has a rags-to-riches story. She grew up with a single mother who died when Horn was 15. She graduated from TCU then got her MBA at UTA before becoming a successful mortgage broker in Houston.

  • Her foundation has reportedly given away millions to nonprofits that help vulnerable people find jobs.

Details: Horn wants to legalize marijuana and release low-level drug offenders from Texas prisons.

  • She also says all public school teachers should get a raise and each school day should start with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, according to her website.

What they’re saying: "At least I put myself out there as a different alternative as a different choice. Certainly I have some different ideas than all the men that are on the podium,​​" Horn told Texas Monthly.

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