Currently represented by Republican State Sen. Drew Springer, who decided not to run for re-election, Senate District 30 sits north of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

SD 30 encompasses Archer, Clay, Montague, Cooke, Grayson, Young, Jack, and parts of Wichita, Parker, and Denton Counties.

With Springer’s retirement, a heated four-way primary took place, featuring questions regarding whether local businessman Brent Hagenbuch is eligible to run for SD 30 since his home is in Senate District 12.

The primary whittled down the final candidates to Hagenbuch and attorney Jace Yarbrough, now competing for the Republican nomination in the May 28 primary runoff election.

Jace Yarbrough

Yarbrough is an Air Force veteran and attorney. He and his wife founded Saint Francis Academy, a classical Christian school.

According to Transparency USA, Yarbrough’s campaign contributions have been made up mostly of individuals. However, he did receive $30,000 from a Dallas video production company, House of Sticks. As of the last campaign finance report, Yarbrough had just over $56,000 cash. 

Yarbrough has received endorsements from several statewide organizations, including Texas Right to Life, Grassroots America: We the People, and True Texas Project. He has also received endorsements from conservative activists at the local and state level.

Brent Hagenbuch

Hagenbuch is a U.S. Navy veteran, also serving as CEO and owner of a transportation company.

His top campaign contributions include Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC. Hagenbuch has also received smaller contributions from both individuals and political action committees. He had almost $170,000 cash on hand as of the last campaign finance report.

Hagenbuch has received endorsements from Texans for Lawsuit Reform and the Texas Association of Business, former President Donald Trump, and several state, national, and local elected officials. 

The Issues

Over the past several weeks, Texas Scorecard asked all state legislative runoff candidates about issues important to voters as they head to the polls.

Regarding Republicans allowing Democrat committee chairs, both candidates affirmed that Republicans should not use their power to give Democrats authority over Texas.

Both candidates also said that Texas must take more steps toward border security. Hagenbuch stated that Senate Bill 4 needs to be fully utilized and strengthened; Yarbrough believes that while SB 4 was a step in the right direction, “to get serious about fighting this invasion, we must create a Texas Border Protection Unit that can arrest and deport illegal crossers at scale and construct barriers to stop them.”

On securing Texas’ land from national security threats, the candidates agreed that the state should ban hostile foreign ownership of American property.

Both candidates also said that they oppose gambling expansion, be it casinos or sports betting, saying that the consequences of an expansion are not worth any positive monetary impact.

When asked if the candidate would support a school choice program, Hagenbuch and Yarbrough agreed school choice should be pushed, and parents should have a voice in their children’s education but diverged on how to go about it. Hagenbuch focused on “Governor Abbott’s plan for universal school choice – adequately funding public schools and giving parents the choice as to which school they send their children.” However, Yarbrough said, “Gov. Abbott’s school choice plan to empower some Texas parents was commendable, but it included a massive, multi-billion dollar giveaway to the Texas public school bureaucracy.”

In response to the question of ensuring election security, Hagenbuch said he would “consistently vote to strengthen voter roll integrity, expand election audits, and crack down on voter fraud.” Yarbrough said his priority would be to give back the attorney general’s power to prosecute election fraud cases.

On protecting Second Amendment rights, both Hagenbuch and Yarbrough said that a careful watch must be kept, and if elected, they will stand against any federal interference.

Election Day

The winner of the Republican runoff on May 28 will compete with either Democrat Michael Braxton or Democrat Dale Frey in the November general election.

Early voting for the runoff begins Monday, May 20, and runs through Friday, May 24.

Amelia McKenzie

Amelia is a senior at Liberty University in Virginia. She is studying Digital Journalism and is currently a fellow with Texas Scorecard.