After suffering two defeats in a row at the hands of Republican primary voters, former State Rep. Bennett Ratliff is working with a liberal South Texas billionaire to defeat conservatives around the state.
Ratliff served with little distinction for one legislative session, where he was closely affiliated with disgraced House Speaker Joe Straus’ coalition government which opposed the legislative agenda of the Republican Party. He was defeated for re-election in 2014 by conservative State Rep. Matt Rinaldi. Ratliff tried to take the seat back in 2016 but was defeated by Rinaldi.
Since then, Ratliff has joined the board of directors of “Parent PAC.” Closely associated with San Antonio billionaire Charles Butt, a Democrat activist and heir to the HEB grocery store fortune, Parent PAC works against conservatives in the GOP primary and funds Democrats in the general elections.
As reported by TransparencyTexas, Parent PAC’s single “largest direct campaign contribution” of the 2016 general election went to a Democrat working against a Republican incumbent.
During the general election of November 2016, only a handful of legislative races were truly contested; most of the real battles occurred during the primary season. Once the general election began, it was often a foregone conclusion whether the seat would go Democrat or Republican. One of those truly contested seats was House District 105 in North Texas, near the Grand Prairie area. Republican incumbent State Representative Rodney Anderson faced off with Democrat challenger Terry Meza. In addition to receiving $6,000 from Texas Parent PAC, Ms. Meza was also endorsed by Annie’s LIST, a pro-choice political action committee. State Rep. Anderson and Ms. Meza’s race ended in a high-profile recount where State Rep. Anderson emerged victorious by just a few dozen votes.