In HD105, Rep. Rodney Anderson (R-Grand Prairie) has about double the resources of Democratic challenger Terry Meza, according to the candidates’ 30-day-out reports filed last week. Anderson out-raised Meza, $179K to $103K, between July 1 and September 29, and he has a $117K to $52K advantage in cash on hand.
Anderson’s fundraising total is nearly identical to his 2014 results ($171K) for the corresponding period, and he has a higher cash-on-hand total than two years ago ($73K).
Meza had the third-highest fundraising total for the period among statewide and legislative challengers, finishing behind Victoria Neave in HD107 ($164K) and former Rep. Philip Cortez in HD117 ($107K). However, she raised $43K less than Anderson’s 2014 opponent for the corresponding period.
Anderson has out-raised Meza for the 2015-16 election cycle, $308K to $131K, and he has outspent her more than 3-to-1 so far. Anderson is about $40K ahead of his 2014 fundraising total as of the 30-day-out reports, while Meza is more than $150K short of Anderson’s 2014 opponent.
Neither candidate had a primary opponent, and no other candidates are in the race.
30-day-out Campaign Finance Report Summary
Cash on Hand
- $117,207 65% 65%
- $52,247 29% 29%
- $179,122 100% 100%
- $102,965 57% 57%
- $70,192 39% 39%
- $29,319 16% 16%
More than half of the money raised by the candidates has come from Austin. Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC has given Anderson more than $70K so far, and Annie’s List ($58K) has provided almost 44% of Meza’s total contributions to date. Nearly $3 out of every $10 in the race has come from those two sources.
Just 10% of both candidates’ total contributions have come from donors living in district zip codes. Neither has a particularly large number of people who live in the district and contributed less than $1K, but Meza has slightly more, 59 to 42. Anderson won a 2014 primary race against then-Rep. Linda Harper-Brown (R-Irving) with fewer district-based small donors and a smaller amount ($3K) raised from the district.
Geographic Sources of Contributions (2015-16 Cycle)
Raised from District Zip Codes
- Austin – $148,817
- Dallas – $73,915
- Irving – $23,600
- Grand Prairie – $10,705
- Rest of Texas – $30,400
- Out of State – $20,600
Raised from District Zip Codes
- Austin – $77,358
- Dallas – $19,305
- Irving – $12,801
- Grand Prairie – $4,230
- Rest of Texas – $17,031
- Out of State – $200
Top Contributors to Anderson
$70,250 – Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC
$20,000 – Trevor Rees-Jones
$14,500 – Texas Land Title Assoc. PAC
$11,600 – Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC
$7,000 – Texas House Republican Caucus PAC
$6,500 – Rodney DeBaun
$5,000 – Trevor Ahlberg, Rod Aycox, Darwin Deason, Farmers Employee and Agent PAC of Texas, Daniel Foster, Jerry Freeman Jr., Riddle & Williams
Top Contributors to Meza
$57,536 – Annie’s List
$13,000 – Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee
$10,000 – Fmr Rep. Domingo Garcia
$4,500 – Adela & Marco Rios
$3,000 – Texas Democratic Women
$2,000 – CWA COPE, Mid-Cities Democrats, Texas State Teachers Assoc. PAC
The district has produced some famously close elections in recent cycles, most notably a 19-vote win by Harper-Brown in 2008. The district was redrawn in 2011 and is on balance friendlier to Republicans that the old configuration would have been. However, Democrats are within striking distance. Our analysis of straight-ticket voting in the precincts currently comprising HD105 found that Republicans had just a 941-vote advantage in 2012, and Democrats would have had an advantage of around 100 votes in 2008. More than two thirds of all votes cast in 2012 were straight-ticket votes. Voters going down the full ballot were the smallest bloc of votes (32%) behind Republican straight-ticket voters (35%) and Democratic straight-ticket voters (33%).
Anderson is no stranger to a close election, either. He won the 2010 general election over then-Rep. Kirk England (D-Grand Prairie) by 204 votes in what was then HD106, and his margin over Harper-Brown was 358 votes. In some recent years, a Libertarian candidate has drawn 2-3% of the vote in HD105 races, permitting a candidate to win with less than 50% of the vote, as Harper-Brown did in 2008. There are no such candidates in the race this year.
The district’s voting-age population is almost evenly split between Anglos (41%) and Hispanic/Latinos (39%). African-Americans comprise 12% of the voting-age population, and other ethnicities form the other 8%. As is true elsewhere in Dallas Co. and across the state, voter participation and turnout is significantly lower in HD105 precincts with a Hispanic/Latino majority population.
In 2012, around 27% of the voting-age population cast ballots in the district’s 15 precincts where Hispanics/Latinos represent a majority of the voting-age population. In the district’s other 42 precincts, 37% of the voting-age population voted. Democrats had a 683-vote advantage in straight-ticket voting in the Hispanic/Latino-majority precincts, and the Democratic candidate for HD105 carried those precincts by 778 votes. Republicans had a 1,624-vote advantage in straight-ticket voting elsewhere in the district, and Harper-Brown carried those precincts by 1,560 votes.
Had voter participation been equal between the groups of precincts, then the 2012 election for HD105 would have been decided by around 475 votes instead of 782. It would not have been enough to swing that election, but it could be enough to swing this one.
We will revisit this district one more time before the election.