Meet Farris Wilks, Kingmaker of the Texas GOP - 2018-05-15
On the morning of October 21, Farris Wilks, a North Texas fracking billionaire, was busy with matters of eschatology. Preaching at the Eastland County church founded by his father, Wilks explained to his congregation — the idiosyncratic, nondenominational Assembly of Yahweh 7th Day — that neither heaven nor hell awaited them when they died. According to Biblical revelation, they would "simply go to the grave to await the Resurrection and the judgment that will follow," he said.
Four days later, the 66-year-old turned to more worldly affairs: He cut a check to state Senator Bob Hall's re-election campaign for $100,000 — about 10 percent of the total amount Hall would go on to raise. That money helped the incumbent, a tea partier from Florida with a history of domestic violence allegations, fend off a primary challenge from Cindy Burkett — a relative moderate who gave up her state House seat to challenge him and has been succeeded by a right-winger, making the outcome a twofold victory for Wilks and Texas' far right.