Gooden was elected in 2010, when he defeated Betty Brown. Spitzer unsuccessfully challenged Gooden in 2012. In 2014, Spitzer made a second attempt and defeated Gooden.
Now, it’s Gooden who is hoping for a second bite at the apple. It may be out of his reach.
Spitzer has developed a strong, consistent record as a legislator who has quickly connected with the residents and local leaders in the multi-county district not far from the Metroplex. Sptizer has received praise from both the conservative movement (like Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and Texas Right to Life) and business-friendly interests (like Texans for Lawsuit Reform).
That’s something that eluded Gooden during his two terms in office. A one-time legislative aide, Gooden earned low ratings on the Fiscal Responsibility Index in his first session (2011) but came back in 2013 to earn a B+. Conservative movement and business groups aren’t certain which Gooden would be coming back: the 2011 version, or the 2013 version.
Voters are uncomfortable with people who still seem to be finding themselves while in office.
Spitzer, on the other hand, hasn’t had to struggle to find his identity or voice as a public servant. He has forcefully defended taxpayers and promoted a commonsense reform agenda. (Spitzer earned a 100 percent, A+ rating on the Fiscal Responsibility Index.)
While one can expect the race to be tight, Spitzer’s proven himself to conservatives – and especially his constituents – as a steady, mature voice of wisdom in the Texas Legislature.