Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article mentioned that Hoskins has been endorsed by the Texas State Association of Firefighters. Hoskins continues to claim to be endorsed by the organization on his Facebook page, but a spokesman for the organization tells Texas Scorecard they have made no endorsement in the race.
The Texas House lawmaker with the most conservative voting record of those seeking re-election is hoping voters will send him back to Austin as the local establishment tries to stop him.
Republican State Rep. Briscoe Cain of Deer Park was first elected to the Texas House in 2016 after defeating liberal Republican incumbent Wayne Smith of Baytown in the Republican primary.
Since then, Cain has been one of the most conservative lawmakers in the state, as measured by the Fiscal Responsibility Index. In his first session, Cain earned a 100 and then fell slightly to a 94 in the most recent session of the Texas Legislature.
Cain is known as one of the Capitol’s most fiery and forceful lawmakers due to the bills he authors, such as the pro-life “Heartbeat Bill” he filed last session, as well as his actions as a conservative provocateur.
Cain recently returned to Twitter after a lengthy ban for telling Beto O’Rourke, “My AR is ready for you, Robert Francis,” after the Democrat presidential hopeful remarked in favor of gun confiscation.
A two-term lawmaker, Cain is being challenged by establishment-backed Robert Hoskins, a former Goose Creek ISD trustee and current Baytown City councilman.
In addition to his service on the school board and city council, Hoskins has been on the Board of Directors of the Baytown Chamber of Commerce and has chaired the Chamber’s education committees. He has also served on the Baytown/West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation, the Goose Creek CISD Career & Technology Advisory Board, and the Lee College Career & Technology Advisory Board.
Hoskins is being backed by statewide organizations, including the Texas Water Infrastructure Network PAC, the Texas Medical Association, and AFSCME—a list of groups most often found supporting Democrat lawmakers.
Locally, Hoskins boasts the endorsement of the Baytown Professional Fire Fighters Association and a myriad public officials—most of whom backed State Rep. Wayne Smith for re-election when Cain defeated him four years ago.
Hoskins has, however, struggled to raise money as a candidate. According to reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission and compiled by Transparency Texas, he’s pulled in less than $30,000 for his campaign thus far.
Meanwhile, Cain has raised nearly $200,000, though some of it has come from less-than-savory sources, such as disgraced Speaker Dennis Bonnen and State Rep. Dustin Burrows (R–Lubbock).
Because there are only two candidates in the race, there is no potential for a runoff. Republican voters in the district will select their nominee on March 3, before facing the Democrat in November.