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Spotlight Election: Yasmin Simon is the best Democratic candidate to capture HD 108

The Lone Star Project’s principal mission is to help defeat vulnerable Republicans and finally end a generation of failed one-party Republican control in Texas. We seldom weigh in on contested Democratic Primaries. So why point to a favorite in Dallas-based House District 108? Because defeating Republican incumbent Morgan Meyer is much more likely if Yasmin Simon is the Democratic nominee.

House District 108 Incumbent Morgan Meyer is Vulnerable to a Mainstream, Fully Funded Democrat

House District 108 is a north central Dallas County predominately Anglo, relatively wealthy district. It favors Republican candidates – but barely. In 2020, Joe Biden got 49 percent running just 883 votes behind Trump. In 2022, Democrat Mike Collier came within just 469 votes of Dan Patrick in the Lt. Governor race. And Democrat Rochelle Garza ran less than 200 votes behind corrupt Texas AG Ken Paxton.  
 
But while HD 108’s politics are moderate, Morgan Meyer’s voting record is extreme. In 2022, Meyer told the Dallas Morning News that he would back legislation to create exceptions in cases of rape and incest. He lied. Instead, Meyer was a full participant in the MAGA attack on women. He voted to imprison doctors who provide lifesaving abortion services, and he even voted to force young pre-teen girls who are raped or are victims of incest to carry a resulting pregnancy to term.  And, when Greg Abbott and MAGA turned the heat up, Meyer melted under pressure and betrayed Texas public school children and teachers by backing the extreme plan to take funds from public schools to pay for private school vouchers. Compounding his problems, Meyer invited the wrath of Ken Paxton when he signed on as a manager of the failed Paxton impeachment effort. As a result, Meyer has a Paxton-backed Republican Primary opponent, Barry Wernick.
 
But defeating Meyer in HD 108 is no small task. It will take a strong Democratic candidate who can raise the funds needed to deliver a mainstream message that exposes Meyer’s collapse to MAGA while building a coalition of Democrats, Independents, and some fair-minded Republicans who are appalled by Morgan Meyer betraying them.

Yasmin Can Win

Yasmin Simon is a partner in one of the nation’s largest, most respected law firms. She is a mother of three. She and her husband are raising their children in the heart of HD 108. She is a strong pro-choice, pro-public education Democrat who projects mainstream sensibilities. She has used both her time and her money to help other Democrats and to serve the community. 
 
Yasmin quickly convinced key Dallas leaders to back her campaign – most notably Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. Moreover, Yasmin is showing that she will raise the needed funds to take the fight to Morgan Meyer. Just-released campaign finance reports show her raising $216,652 with $208,608 cash on hand. Simon has raised more than any other State House Democratic challenger in Texas. In fact, she raised more from individual donors during the last reporting period than Morgan Meyer.
 
And Yasmin has data to support her candidacy. A poll of the district shows that once HD 108 voters become aware of Morgan Meyer’s extreme votes, Yasmin pulls ahead of Meyer in a general election race.
 
Yasmin is building a strong, properly funded, ground-based campaign. She is delivering a winning message that unites Democrats while appealing to more independent-minded voters – exactly what is needed to defeat a vulnerable incumbent in a marginal district.

Liz Will Likely Lose

Liz Ginsberg is a respected local attorney with an admirable record of Democratic activism. She was the HD 108 Democratic nominee in 2022. But her past campaign, rather than build a platform to go forward, fell flat with a thud. Liz failed to raise funds needed to compete, being outspent by Morgan Meyer more than 3 to 1. While other Democrats on the ballot were running neck and neck with their opponents in HD 108, Liz lost badly. She ran 13 percentage points behind Meyer and received over 11,000 fewer votes.
 
There is no sign that Liz will do better if renominated. Her campaign finance report shows that she has raised only $80,030 with less than $61,482 cash-on-hand. These totals would be a problem for a challenger in an even more favorable district. In HD 108 they are likely fatal.
 
Perhaps most troubling is that the single largest expenditure made by Ginsberg was a $25,000 repayment of a loan from her husband. While there is nothing illegal or unethical about the loan repayment, it is an odd move for an underfunded campaign going into a contested election. It shows that Liz herself may doubt her ability to win and to raise the money for repayment later.

Bottom Line

Texas State House districts are gerrymandered to favor Republicans. Democrats already hold the seats with a clear Democratic advantage. House District 108 is one of a few Republican-held districts that are marginal and in play. Republican Morgan Meyer has made himself vulnerable by building an extremist record unacceptable to mainstream voters. Yasmin Simon is clearly the one Democratic candidate with the profile, campaign organization, and fundraising ability to capture the seat for Democrats.

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