Texas House District 2, east of Dallas, includes Hopkins, Hunt, and Van Zandt counties. Republican incumbent House Rep. Dan Flynn’s consistent political shift to the left, combined with his outright opposition to the Republican Party platform position against taxpayer-funded lobbying has earned him two challengers on his right flank. Republican challenger Bryan Slaton is back for a third showdown against Flynn, and Republican activist Dwayne Collins has also thrown his hat into the ring. The winner of this three-way Republican battle will face Democrat contender Bill Brannon in November.
Jo Ann Linzer
District Judge (O)
$22,119Cash on Hand
The most closely watched political clash in Texas this year will be the Democrats’ attempt to take control of the Texas House of Representatives. And the battle begins with the primaries on March 3. Over the next three weeks we’ll be bringing you an inside look at some of the most hotly contested primary races — introducing you to the candidates and giving you a clear breakdown of the money involved.
1. Texas Association of REALTORS PAC ($35,867,910): The Realtors are the powerhouse of money in Texas politics. Yes, you might be surprised to find that your realtor’s professional dues support one of the most powerful — and certainly the most well-funded — PACs in Texas. What might be even more surprising is that the Texas Association of Realtors PAC (TREPAC) frequently uses its political heft to support liberal Republicans and the occasional Democrat. Apparently, this cycle, they believed their PAC account was too flush with cash, as they purchased more than $29 million of money market instrument mutual funds at Frost Bank. As for TREPAC’s donations directly to candidates, they appear to be motivated primarily by the desire to curry favor with those in power in Austin. They supported incumbents of every stripe in 2018, from the most conservative Republicans ($101,042 to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and $60,000 to State Sen. Don Huffines) to liberal Republicans and Democrats ($55,000 to State Rep. Charlie Geren and $50,000 to State Sen. John Whitmire). During the all-important and ideologically-revealing primary season, the Realtors tended to support the more moderate to liberal candidate in each race, including State Reps. Jason Villalba and Wayne Faircloth and State Sen. Kel Seliger this election season. TREPAC’s largest donation to a candidate this cycle was $140,000 to Cody Harris, a realtor himself, who won one of the most watched elections of the primary season to take the seat of retiring State Rep. Byron Cook. With more than $29 million in the bank, $6.7 million dollars cash-on-hand in their PAC account, and the proven willingness to spend it, the Realtors will be a formidable force in Texas politics for the foreseeable future.