One of the closest, most hotly contested races of the 2018 campaign season was the Democrat primary for Texas House District 116 (San Antonio). The battle lines were drawn between veteran politician and former State Representative Trey Martinez-Fischer, who held the seat from 2001-2017 and newcomer State Representative Diana Arevalo, who held the seat for only one session.
Martinez-Fischer vacated his House seat in 2016 to run unsuccessfully for the Texas Senate. When he decided to try to run for his former House seat again, Arevalo did not step aside without a battle. Ultimately, Martinez-Fischer won by a razor thin margin of 123 votes.
Here’s a quick look at the numbers:
|Texas House District 116 – By The Numbers|
|Diana Arevalo (I)||Trey Martinez-Fischer|
|Total Money Raised||$165,867||$187,046|
|Total Number of Donations||182||168|
|Average Donation Amount||$911.36||$1,113.37|
|Total Money Raised In-District||$4,856.99||$25,034|
|Total Number of Donations In-District||22||59|
|Percent of All Money Raised From In-District||2.93%||13.38%|
|Total Money Raised Outside District||$161,010.44||$162,011.78|
|Total Number of Donations Outside District||160||109|
|Percent of All Money Raised From Outside District||97.07%||86.62%|
|Cost Per Vote||$27.98||$30.70|
Many political insiders thought Trey Martinez-Fischer’s career was over after he failed in his bid for State Senate. Taking over in HD116 was Diana Arevalo who, by all accounts, was an apt and contributing member of the Democratic caucus. But Martinez-Fischer, often referred to as a pit bull for his tenacity and grit on the House floor, wasn’t content to stay on the sidelines long, and he is now returning to Austin.
Key Takeaways from the HD116 Race:
Before you go…
Members of a legislative body are typically loathe to endorse against a fellow member, but this time was different: 17 representatives from the Texas House, including four from the San Antonio area, endorsed their former colleague, Martinez-Fischer, over their current colleague, Arevalo. During his 16 years in the Texas House, Martinez-Fischer developed a reputation as an effective fighter against the Republican majority, deftly using legislative procedure to stall or even derail conservative agenda items. Perhaps Democrats believed they needed his skills to help thwart conservatives, particularly in light of the resignation of liberal House Speaker Joe Straus.
State Representative Garnet Coleman was one notable exception to the Martinez-Fischer endorsements. Coleman, who has had a somewhat strained relationship with Martinez-Fischer, not only endorsed Arevalo, he put his money where his mouth was, sharing $5,000 of his campaign cash with her.
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.