Is Texas House District 113 (seven percent of Dallas County, including portions of Garland, Mesquite, and Rowlett) really a swing district? It depends. According to voting trends? Yes. According to the money? Not even close.
When it comes to the financial arms race for House District 113, there really is no competition. 33-year old Republican nominee Jonathan Boos significantly outpaces Democrat nominee Rhetta Bowers (pictured left), no matter how you slice the data. Still, Dr. Mark Jones of Rice University, who has analyzed all Texas House districts according to voters’ partisanship, affinity for Trump, and ideology, scores HD 113 as one of the most likely to flip from red to blue.
Both Boos and Bowers ran for this seat in 2016, and both fell to then-incumbent House Representative Cindy Burkett (R). Boos succombed in the primary and Bowers in the general. This time around, however, Burkett chose to pursue a state senate seat, leaving the HD 113 seat open. (Burkett unsuccessfully challenged State Senator Bob Hall in the primary.)
Jonathan Boos is in-house counsel at J2B Holdings, LLC, an e-commerce company he co-founded with his brother (and largest donor) Joshua Boos. Rhetta Bowers is a wife, mother, part-time educator, and community activist.
Here’s a quick look at the numbers*:
|Texas House District 113 – By The Numbers|
|Jonathan Boos (R)||Rhetta Bowers (D)|
|Total Money Raised||$145,595.91||$23,643.39|
|Total Number of Donations||750||325|
|Average Donation Amount||$194.13||$72.75|
|Total Money Raised In-District||$10,196.00||$3,080.00|
|Total Number of Donations In-District||335||43|
|Percent of All Money Raised In-District||7%||13.03%|
|Total Money Raised Outside District||$135,399.91||$20,563.39|
|Total Number of Donations Outside District||415||282|
|Percent of All Money Raised Outside District||93%||86.97%|
|Total Expenditures in Primary||$143,719.01||$11,602.05|
|Total Votes in Primary||4,588||4,155|
|Cost Per Vote in Primary||$31.32||$2.79|
Boos won a three-way race primary outright, avoiding a costly runoff, with 54.4% of the vote against U.S. Marine Charlie Lauersdorf and Sunnyvale Mayor Jim Phaup. Bowers triumphed over Dallas Fire & Rescue veteran Billy Ingram, 64.59% to 35.41%, to secure the Democrat Party nomination for HD 113.
Key Takeaways from the HD 113 Race:
Before you go…
Incumbent State Representatives James Frank (R) and Ron Simmons (R) donated $1,500 and $2,000 respectively to Boos’s primary race in February. The timing is significant. Only a handful of sitting Republican legislators are known to choose sides during a primary fight; Frank and Simmons are not among them, but both are rumored to be considering a bid for the Texas House Speakership.
*These numbers are based on the most recent available data from the Texas Ethics Commission. Candidates and PACs are required to file new reports October 9. As soon as new information is released, Transparency Texas will clean it up, make it available, and provide important updates.
Our Race to Raise series takes a deeper look at the most high-profile races of the election cycle, focusing specifically on money raised by those seeking to serve in public office. Stay tuned for the next installment.