As the March Primary Election quickly approaches, one race for an East Houston House seat is heating up, with Gov. Greg Abbott endorsing the incumbent and Attorney General Ken Paxton endorsing the challenger.

Incumbent State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) has been serving in the Texas House since 2016. With a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston-Downtown and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law, Cain is one of the legal minds behind the Texas Heartbeat Act.

His challenger, Bianca Gracia, graduated from St. Mary’s University with a degree in Public Justice and a minor in Legal Studies. She is the wife of a Veteran and Police Sergeant, a homeschool mother, and has spent the past sixteen years serving as a community organizer and activist. She is the president of Latinos for Trump / Latinos for America First Organization and Executive Director of Latinos for America First PAC. She has worked as the Chief Strategist at The America Project, the Hispanic Engagement Director of the Republican Party of Texas, and the State Director of Faith and Freedom Coalition. 

Cain has received the endorsement of Gov. Abbott, who recently came to Deer Park to endorse Rep. Cain and highlight their long relationship and the close relationship their wives share. Abbott went on to say that if Cain is sent back to Austin, he would work with him to make sure school choice passes for every parent in the state of Texas.

This was Governor Abbott’s top priority last year, which failed to pass the Texas House. 

However, Attorney General Ken Paxton has endorsed Gracia, as Cain voted to impeach Paxton and was one of the House impeachment managers for the trial. Paxton was acquitted on all impeachment articles by the Texas Senate and the impeachment process cost at least $4.3 million in taxpayer money.

Both candidates were sent questionnaires on some topics believed to be important in the upcoming election.

Gracia responded while Cain did not. Her answers to the questions can be found below while answers from Cain are only provided through his previous comments or actions he has taken on the subject as found in public records.

When asked whether Texas should get rid of magnets for illegal immigration such as in-state tuition for illegal aliens, and mandate E-Verify, Gracia said yes, while Cain has not taken a public position.

Regarding whether Texas should allow gambling expansion, Gracia said no. While Cain has voted against both attempts to expand gambling in the 88th Legislative Session, he has taken at least $9,000 from the Chickasaw Nation, which would have the most direct path to opening a North Texas destination resort-style casino.

On the matter of combatting ESG (Environmental Social Governance), Gracia said Texas “should take away their tax incentives and/or tax breaks.” Cain did not respond but has previously called ESG an “Environmental Smash-&-Grab.”

Both candidates have been emphatic in their support of School Choice.

Cain’s support can be seen in multiple public statements as well as vote records.

Gracia said, “Yes absolutely. I have worked as a teacher of 4th & 5th graders, been involved in PTO while my children were in elementary, and homeschooled both my sons after elementary. I know based on my experience that we need school choice for parents, but we also need to take care of our educators that work in education in the public sector, with more pay and less regulations in schools. I do not support standardized testing, but do believe there needs to be some other metric that evaluates the school’s success rate. We need to focus on schools teaching basics not ideologies in order to produce young productive citizens that can read, write, add, and know the history of the nation and our state. Children are not pawns nor should be used as political footballs for narratives that benefit politicians or agendas. We need to make sure we keep obscene material out of schools and focus on teaching kids. Texans deserve better. Our children are our future they must be protected. Our schools need more resources for special needs children, we need Chaplains that can deal with children who are dealing with bullying, self-esteem issues, depression, and drug abuse, among other issues that our teachers and counselors should not have to deal with and concentrate on teaching. I will be an advocate of school choice that is fair to all Texans.”

House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) has faced considerable criticism from the conservative grassroots for his continuation of the practice of allowing Democrats to serve on key committees in the Texas House.

Both candidates were asked if they would vote for Phelan as Speaker of the Texas House.  

Gracia: No. Dade Phelan has demonstrated he is not committed to the conservative values Texans demand of their Republican Representatives, let alone speaker.  Pushing the sham impeachment trial against AG Paxton with no evidence was a disgrace and promoting Democrat Chairs for our committees is not virtuous but proof he has sold out or is controlled by the establishment.  

Cain: Yes, according to public records. 

Both candidates were also asked if they would support banning Democrat Committee Chairs. 

Gracia: Yes, absolutely. The constituents that vote Republicans in, do so to make sure the elected advance conservative bills and move our GOP priorities forward through bills that actually make it to the floor. If our elected officials surrender their obligation to the Democrats then we have done a disservice to our constituents. 

Cain: No, according to a video of him on the floor supporting Democrat Committee Chairs. 

Do you think it is appropriate for politicians to take money from the developers/owners of Colony Ridge? 

Gracia: No. The United States Federal Government has sued Colony Ridge because of its predatory practices on Latino homebuyers.

Cain: Yes, according to public records which show he, Abbott, and other representatives have taken multiple donations from the Harris Brothers of Colony Ridge.

Did you support the impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton? If so, why? 

Gracia: No, our organization stood against the impeachment. AG Paxton is arguably the finest Attorney General in the country and one of the most courageous for going after the treasonous Biden administration! For doing so he was attacked just like President Trump through lawfare, a cowardice and deceitful way to try and take out those whom you don’t agree with.  This was completely unacceptable. 

Rep. Cain: Yes, based on the fact he voted for the impeachment and served as an impeachment manager for Paxton’s trial. 

What do you think is the biggest threat to freedom in Texas? 

Bianca: Corrupt politicians who have sold out their constituents for global special interests. 

Cain: Unknown

What are your thoughts on the World Economic Forum? 

Bianca: The organization has an evil agenda that goes in direct opposition to our Constitution and our unalienable rights provided to us by our Creator of life, liberty and our ability to pursue happiness! Their desire for a one world, dystopian, authoritarian government that puts us all into a digital concentration camp, must never be allowed in Texas, the United States or around the globe. 

Rep. Cain: Unknown

Larry Kaifesh

Larry Kaifesh is a retired Colonel in the Marine Corps with 28 years of service and seven combat deployments to the Middle East after the attacks of 9-11. He is committed to truth and transparency, the fuel for a civilized society.