Texas House District 92 (HD 92), being vacated by incumbent Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), has drawn the attention of outside groups that consider it a district capable of being flipped to the Democrat side.
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.
Jeff Cason is running as the Republican candidate, and told The Texan that his campaign is in high gear. “We are on our second full pass of the district making phone calls, emailing, and knocking on doors. We are quite pleased and have had overwhelming receptivity from folks at their doorsteps.”
Cason is endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and Texas Right to Life, among others. He is also endorsed by local officials like Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn.
When speaking of the endorsement by NFIB, Cason said, “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They know I’ll be doing anything possible to limit the taxing and regulation of small businesses.”
Among the issues that have presented themselves as most significant to citizens of HD 92 are health care and education, Cason said, adding “property taxes are still high and on people’s radar.”
Cason is currently running a television advertisement touting his support of public schools. “We need to invest in education so that every child has the opportunity to attend a good, safe public school.”
His mailers also indicate his intent to protect the teacher retirement system, increase teacher pay, and reduce or eliminate standardized tests.
According to the latest campaign finance report, Cason has raised $219,000 and has $1,305 on hand. His largest contribution, $150,000 came from Tim Dunn, CEO of CrownQuest Holdings and a well-known mega donor to conservative causes and candidates in the state.
Democratic candidate Jeff Whitfield, an attorney in Fort Worth, has drawn funding and assistance from outside groups trying to flip the district for the Democrats.
He has several endorsements, including from the AFL-CIO of Texas; the Sierra Club, an environmental and climate activist group; and Future Now, a political action committee which, according to The Atlantic “help[s] progressive candidates win elections.”
Local officials such as Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX-33) and state Senator Beverly Powell have endorsed Whitfield.
Whitfield’s website also addresses health care and education in its issues section. Whitfield claims he will “expand access to affordable, high-quality health care” and mentions accepting billions of dollars to increase Medicaid in Texas. He also touts his desire to make education a priority and is endorsed by the Texas First Coalition, a group “managed by education advocates and business leaders to promote quality public schools.”
Whitfield’s most recent campaign finance report reveals that he has raised $362,947 since July and has $236,445 on hand. He has received multiple large contributions from political groups: Flippable Texas Victory Fund gave $30,000, Future Now Fund gave $10,000, and One Texas Political Committee gave $10,000.
Whitfield is also benefiting from $6.2 million in advertising that Forward Majority, a PAC focused on helping Democrats win state legislative races, has pledged to benefit candidates in Texas.
Whitfield’s campaign did not reply to The Texan’s request for an interview.
Editor’s note: The article has been updated with the latest political leaning of HD 92 according to Mark Jones’ rankings.
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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.