MESQUITE, Texas—Voters in one of the few remaining swing districts in Texas are fighting hard to retake a Texas House seat that turned blue in 2016.
As part of our “On the Trail Tour,” Texas Scorecard spent some time in House District 107 interviewing Mesquite native Deanna Metzger as she seeks the Republican nomination, and talking to engaged activists about the upcoming Republican Primary election on March 6.
Formerly held by establishment State Rep. Ken Sheets (R-Dallas), who is currently trying to take his failed record to Congress, HD 107 was lost when he fell short in his re-election campaign to Victoria Neave of Mesquite.
But Dallas County Republicans are moving to try and re-take the seat, betting that Neave’s poor records—both criminal and legislative—will help them return HD 107 to Republican control. Neave was arrested in Dallas for drinking and driving last fall and earned a dismal 24% on the Fiscal Responsibility Index during the legislative session.
Metzger is seeking to contrast herself with the liberal incumbent:
“We need bold colors in House District 107,” stated Metzger, a highly successful Hispanic lawyer. “My community is tired of pale pastels. We need someone that will speak up on the issues, not sit on the fence. No one can say that I don’t speak my mind.”
For a while it seemed that Metzger could make it through without any primary challengers. However, now she may be facing runoff due to “left leaning” challengers, Brad Perry and Joe Ruzicka.
While out knocking on doors, Metzger touts her leadership in her community and her deep ties to the district, with her father being a former Justice of the Peace. Metzger has an aggressive campaign and has out knocked many of challengers running in the area with 3 times the doors knocked and minimal resources.
That said, Metzger hasn’t been without controversy.
Indeed, she’s been ridiculed for not being a resident of HD 107 because she owns a house outside the district, something that the recently honored graduate of North Mesquite High School disputes.
“I meet the residency requirements for the State Representative of District 107. I do own a home in the district. In fact, my husband and I own several properties around the area, and he made the choice where to take our homestead exemption. My ties to the community run deep, as I am also an owner of a business off of Main Street in Mesquite. Furthermore, I’m a product of the Mesquite public school system from Elementary through High School,” stated Metzger.
“Democrats are clearly worried I will expose the incumbent’s radical voting record, and are making up false claims about my family a year before the election. I’m blessed to have grown up in Mesquite, and to be meeting thousands of people across the district that support my campaign,” she continued.
Though Metzger has a long road ahead of her, she seems to hold her head high, cut through the strife, and has put herself on track to perform well in the coming primary and general election.
This article is part of Texas Scorecard’s “On the Trail Tour” series. To view more field reports on campaigns across the state of Texas, visit our website here.
Cary Cheshire contributed to this report.