During the March primary, the race to represent House District 54 in the Texas legislature featured the only incumbent Republican lawmaker who was forced into a runoff election. Republican State Representative Scott Cosper was challenged by Killeen veterinarian, Dr. Brad Buckley. A third contestant, Larry Smith, was also in the race but failed to make the runoff.
Ultimately, Buckley was successful in knocking off Cosper in what was widely seen as one of the most surprising upsets of the 2018 Election Cycle thus far.
Here’s a quick look at the numbers:
|Texas House District 54 – By The Numbers|
|Scott Cosper (I) – Primary||Scott Cosper (I) – Runoff||Brad Buckley – Primary||Brad Buckley – Runoff|
|Total Money Raised||$329,866.09||$203,923.07||$47,884.50||$47,915|
|Total Number of Donations||177||83||127||88|
|Average Donation Amount||$1,863.65||$2,456.90||$377.04||$544.48|
|Total Money Raised In-District||$60,285||$11,029.10||$27,984.50||$5,275|
|Total Number of Donations In-District||73||19||99||20|
|Percent of All Money Raised From In-District||18.28%||5.41%||58.44%||11.01%|
|Total Money Raised Outside District||$269,581.09||$192,893.97||$19,900||$42,640|
|Total Number of Donations Outside District||103||64||27||68|
|Percent of All Money Raised From Outside District||81.72%||94.59%||41.56%||88.99%|
|Cost Per Vote||$46.88||$27.85||$22.85||$5.00|
The race for HD 54 stirred up some serious divisions in the district because both men have deep roots in Killeen, both even graduated from the same high school. Cosper had served as the previous Mayor of Killeen, while Buckley had served on the Board of Trustees at Killeen ISD and had been Chairman of the Killeen Chamber of Commerce.
Key Takeaways from the HD 54 Race:
Before you go…
In what seems to be their first entrance into Texas politics, the National Cutting Horse Association and their affiliated PAC contributed $25,000 to Buckley’s runoff campaign. Buckley serves as the Regional Director for the NCHA, and the list of NCHA benefactors includes some of the heaviest hitters in Texas campaign finance, including the Walton family of WalMart and Juliana and Peter Holt, owners of the San Antonio Spurs basketball franchise.
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.