Republican Jeff Cason, a businessman and long-time resident of the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area, won the election against Democrat Jeff Whitfield, an attorney in Fort Worth. The district was targeted as part of an attempt by Democrats to take control of the Texas House of Representatives.
According to the Texas secretary of state’s website, Cason won with over 51 percent of 75,000 votes cast in the district.
In 2018, HD 92 was the only Texas House seat in which a Republican prevailed with under 50 percent of the vote.
“Democrats outspent us 2 to 1 in this race. Austin insiders tried to cut funding for our campaign because they couldn’t control us. But we were victorious tonight because this district belongs to the residents of District 92, not Austin, and not out-of-state Democrats. I look forward to serving everyone in HD92,” Cason wrote to The Texan.
While Governor Greg Abbott reportedly gave millions of dollars to support down-ballot candidates in an effort to help fellow Republicans, a search of campaign finance reports showed no contributions by Abbott to Cason’s campaign.
Retiring incumbent and conservative stalwart Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) pointed out in a tweet, “Not a penny in HD92, a swing district. @GovAbbott continues his war against conservatives.”
Stickland announced his retirement from the legislature last year. Cason won a primary battle in March against former Bedford mayor Jim Griffin and political newcomer Taylor Gillig to become the Republican nominee.
Whitfield won his primary election against Steve Riddell, who had run for the seat in 2018.
“I want to thank everyone – my loved ones, supporters, volunteers, and more – who helped this campaign. While there are still votes to be counted, it looks like we’ve come up short, but together we brought light to the important issues facing families in House District 92. I offer my congratulations to Jeff Cason and wish him the best of luck. While the results did not turn out the way we wanted, there is more work to be done, and I look forward to continuing to give back to the community I call home,” Whitfield wrote on his campaign Facebook page.
According to Mark P. Jones of Rice University, the district in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area of North Texas qualifies as a “toss up,” and analysis from The Texan shows the district has a partisan index of 57, meaning Republican candidates received an average of 57 percent of the vote during the 2016 and 2018 general elections.
Cason won the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Texas Right to Life, and Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, who also won his re-election bid yesterday.
Cason said that his interactions with district residents demonstrated that the most significant issues in the election were health care and education, adding “property taxes are still high and on people’s radar.”
Campaign finance reports showed Whitfield with more contributions, over $1,150,000 compared to about $974,000 for Cason.
Whitfield also benefited from $6.2 million in advertising that Forward Majority, a PAC focused on helping Democrats win state legislative races, pledged to benefit candidates in Texas.
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Kim Roberts is a reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.