Texas House District 108, which includes a portion of Dallas, Highland Park, and University Park, is one of the most competitive races in Texas this year. Republican State Rep. Morgan Meyer is seeking a fourth term in office and has been challenged to a rematch by his 2018 rival, Democrat Joanna Cattanach. Meyer held onto the seat in 2018 after a recount by only 220 votes. This razor-thin 0.56 percent margin of victory makes this race a top target of Democrats seeking to flip the Texas House to blue this November.
Meyer, a partner with the Wick Phillips law firm, lists his top campaign issues as school finance, education, and property tax reform. Meyer also recently made headlines calling for the 2020-2021 STAAR test to be postponed.
Cattanach, a journalism and writing professor at Dallas County Community College, lists her top issues in this campaign as economic growth, tax relief, healthcare, education, criminal justice reform, redistricting, the environment, equality for the LGBTQ community, CPS and foster care reform, and gun safety.
Also on the ballot is Libertarian candidate Ed Rankin. His top issues include lowering taxes and government spending, ending the war on drugs, expanding school choice, providing a level playing field for businesses, and promoting “harmony regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.” Rankin’s reported campaign finances consist of a single $750 donation and no reported expenditures so far. Although his data is not included in the breakdown below, you can compare all three candidates in greater detail using our Candidate Races feature.
|Joanna Cattanach (D)||Morgan Meyer (R)(I)|
|Total Money Raised||$352,294||$724,482|
|Total Number of Donations||2,321||507|
|Average Donation Amount||$151.79||$1,428.96|
|Total Money Raised In-District||$79,118||$333,797|
|Total Number of Donations From In-District||596||297|
|Percentage Raised From In-District||22%||46%|
|Total Money Raised Outside District||$273,176||$390,685|
|Total Number of Donations Raised Outside District||1,725||210|
|Percentage Raised From Outside District||78%||54%|
Meyer has a 2:1 fundraising lead over his challenger. As of the most recent, semiannual reports, Meyer has $724,482 in contributions versus $352,294 in contributions for Cattanach. Meyer also has a significant cash-on-hand advantage, reporting $517,790 in cash-on-hand versus $122,180 for Cattanach. This financial advantage is not surprising for an incumbent, but the question remains whether or not he can use it to turn out votes between now and November 3.
Although Meyer has brought in more total money from inside the district, Cattanach has received twice the number of donations from inside District 108. This discrepancy is a result of Cattanach having significantly more small-dollar donors. A high number of in-district donations (no matter their size) has long been a predictor of victory on election day. People willing to open their wallet to support a candidate are highly likely to turn out to vote, and even to bring their friends. The higher number of in-district donations could signal more enthusiasm for the Cattanach campaign.
Whether Meyer can use his cash advantage to turn out votes, or whether Cattanach can motivate more voters this time around remains to be seen. It’s extremely difficult to unseat an incumbent, but Cattanach is well-positioned in the run-up to November.
There are two more financial reports before the November election, and we’ll bring you the latest numbers every time. Join us to get up-to-the-minute news about the money in Texas politics delivered straight to your inbox. Prefer social? Find us on Twitter and Facebook.