This year’s race for Texas State House District 115 (HD115) was the third battle in a row between State Representative Matt Rinaldi and former State Representative Bennett Ratliff.
Since 2012, when businessman Matt Rinaldi challenged sitting State Rep. Bennett Ratliff, it has been game on. State Rep. Ratliff fended off the challenger to hold the seat in 2012. In a 2014 rematch, Mr. Rinaldi again challenged State Rep. Ratliff and, in a reversal of the previous outcome, was successful in knocking off the incumbent. This year, seeking to regain the seat, Mr. Ratliff challenged State Rep. Rinaldi but came up short on election day.
Here’s a quick look at the numbers:
|Texas House District 115 – By The Numbers|
|Matt Rinaldi (I)||Bennett Ratliff|
|Total Money Raised||$355,607||$384,639|
|Total Number of Donations||322||463|
|Average Donation Amount||$1,104.37||$830.75|
|Total Money Raised In-District||$25,537||$35,828|
|Total Number of Donations In-District||147||202|
|Percent of All Money Raised From In-District||7.18%||9.31%|
|Total Money Raised Outside District||$330,070||$348,811|
|Total Number of Donations Outside District||175||261|
|Percent of All Money Raised From Outside District||92.82%||90.69%|
|Cost Per Vote||$58.00||$60.66|
HD115 is an urban district in the northwest corner of Dallas County. Not quite the heart of Dallas, yet not quite suburbia, HD115 is as economically and socially diverse as they come. Coppell, Carrollton, Irving, Farmers Branch, and small parts of Dallas and Addison make up the district. State Rep. Rinaldi resides in Irving, while Mr. Ratliff resides in Coppell.
Challengers rarely have the ability to financially out-raise an incumbent. If this happens, it almost certainly spells disaster for the incumbent on election day. The fact that the outcome didn’t follow this trend suggests State Rep. Rinaldi has developed exceedingly strong relationships with the voters of HD115.
Key takeaways from the HD115 race:
Before you go…
Interesting note from our analysis:
Education advocates/groups clearly cared about this race, with Mr. Ratliff receiving support from those seeking to push more money to public schools (Charles Butt and Texas Parent PAC), while State Rep. Rinaldi was supported by those advocating for more choices in education (Texas Homeschool Coalition PAC, Texans for Education Reform PAC, and Empower Texans PAC).
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.