Texas House District 92, which includes Hurst, Euless, Bedford and parts of Arlington, Fort Worth and Grand Prairie, has been targeted by Democrats in their effort to gain control of the Texas House. Needing only nine more seats to flip the House to the blue column, Democrats are targeting a list of house districts that were won by narrow margins. House District 92 is at the top of their list.
In 2018, conservative firebrand Jonathan Stickland held on to his seat in the Texas House by a slim 2.4 percent margin against Democrat challenger Steve Riddell. In 2019, Stickland decided not to run for reelection, and Riddell decided to get back in the battle. In addition to Riddell, one other Democrat has entered the race along with three Republicans.
Jeff Cason (R) – Cason works as a manufacturing and sales professional within the aviation and energy industries. He has staked out a number of conservative positions and, in turn, been endorsed by a host of conservative PACs, including Texas Right to Life, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Values, and Texas Homeschool Coalition.
Taylor Gillig (R) – Gillig is a Marine combat veteran from the Afghanistan war and a Dallas entrepreneur. Gillig’s positions include reducing government spending and taxes, strengthening border security, and protecting life from conception to natural death.
Jim Griffin (R) – Griffin has served on many civic and community boards for the Hurst-Euless- Bedford area and as the mayor of Bedford from 2012-2019. His website and Facebook page assert that he is “the best candidate to keep the district red.” Griffin has been endorsed by Texas Association of Realtors PAC and Texas Alliance for Life — both typically support moderate to liberal Republicans.
Steve Riddell (D) – From Bedford, Riddell works as a manager of payment processing and credit card fraud prevention strategies with an internet company. According to Riddell’s campaign site, his top priority is increased funding for public education.
Jeff Whitfield (D) – Air Force veteran and Fulbright Scholar, Whitfield is a partner at the Fort Worth law firm Kelly Hart. He has been endorsed by the Fort Worth Telegram, Texas AFL-CIO, Texans with Disabilities, and Texas Latino Youth. His top priorities include taking federal money to extend healthcare coverage in Texas and increasing funding for public schools.
|Jeff Cason (R)||Taylor Gillig (R)||Jim Griffin (R)||Steve Riddell (D)||Jeff Whitfield (D)|
|Total Money Raised||$243,806||$3,780||$39,927||$53,615||$118,836|
|Total Number of Donations||260||12||102||738||180|
|Average Donation Amount||$938||$315||$391||$73||$660|
|Total Money Raised In-District||$33,541||$50||$14,657||$26,753||$18,326|
|Total Number of Donations In-District||129||1||32||272||24|
|Percentage of All Money Raised In-District||14%||1%||37%||50%||15%|
|Total Money Raised Outside District||$210,265||$3,730||$25,270||$26,863||$100,510|
|Total Number of Donations Raised Outside District||131||11||70||466||156|
|Percentage of All Money Raised Outside District||86%||99%||63%||50%||85%|
|Cash On Hand||$119,245||$2,559||$21,972||$17,582||$120,304|
Steve Riddell is the Democrat candidate who almost ousted Jonathan Stickland in the last election, but it’s not clear if he can win the primary and be the Democrat nominee this time around. Fellow Democrat Jeff Whitfield has raised more than twice as much money as Riddell and has more than six times the amount of money in the bank. That’s a lot of cash Whitfield can use to turn out voters on March 3. But don’t count Riddell out — he has collected 248 more individual donations than Whitfield from citizens inside HD 92. Statistics show that those in-district donors are likely to turn out to vote (and bring their friends).
On the Republican side, Jeff Cason has the clear advantage. He’s significantly ahead with total contributions, cash-on-hand, total donors, and the all-important in-district donors. Unless Griffin or Gillig can pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat, expect Cason to advance to the November general election.
Next week we focus on the Republicans as we continue our series analyzing the most hotly contested primaries in the battle for control of the Texas House. Subscribe here, so you stay in the know.
*According to the most recent data on file with the Texas Ethics Commission.