Republican lawmakers across Texas who failed to represent the interests of taxpayers in their districts this legislative session continue to draw primary challengers.

In northeast Texas’ House District 4, encompassing Henderson and Kaufman counties, Republican primary voters dissatisfied with anti-taxpayer incumbent State Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Forney) will have at least one other choice.

Gooden scored a dismal 42 on Empower Texans’ 2017 Fiscal Responsibility Index – lower than the average for all House members, Republicans and Democrats.

Forney pastor and political newcomer Marty Reid says he’s challenging Gooden because he believes the district deserves “representation that reflects our Christian conservative values.”

Reid also notes Gooden’s disappointing performance in the 2017 legislative session:

“I have watched over this regular session and into the special session as Rep. Lance Gooden has disappointed us all time and again. From a man who describes himself as a conservative Christian – he votes and works in Austin as a liberal Democrat…

“The reality is that he knows he must run as a Republican in this district – but when we look at his voting record, the truth is revealed.

Gooden may also have a second primary challenger.

Stuart Spitzer of Kaufman, who represented HD 4 in the 84th Legislative Session after defeating Gooden in the 2014 Republican primary, has yet to officially declare his intentions but is believed to be considering another run.

During his time in the Texas Legislature, Spitzer earned a 100 rating on the Fiscal Responsibility Index and was named a “Taxpayer Champion” by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Gooden narrowly defeated Spitzer in the 2016 primary election.

Republican lawmakers whose voting records reveal they failed to represent their conservative constituents while in Austin can expect to continue drawing challengers in the March 2018 primary.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.


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