2018 was a year of change in Texas, with 28 new members joining the Texas House of Representatives. One new member is Republican Sam Harless who won election to District 126 on November 6th.
Harless defeated Democratic opponent Natali Hurtado by 5,443 votes, receiving 30,243 votes compared to Hurtado, who received 24,800 votes. Harless, a first time candidate, and previous campaign treasurer for his wife Patricia Harless, has been the General Manager for Fred Fincher Motors since 2004. His professional experience allowed him to gain insight for small businesses and Texas politics, and to win the open seat in House District 126 against Natali Hurtado. The same district in which his wife was the Representative for between 2007 to 2017.
During the Republican Primary, Harless ran against two other candidates, Kevin Fulton and Gail Stanart, but quickly moved onto the General elections by receiving 50.6 percent of the vote. Hurtado also ran against another candidate in the Democratic Primary, Undrai Fizer, and received 77.7 percent of the vote, where she then went on to lose to Harless on November 6th.
Throughout the election Harless had $273,706.47 in receipts and direct spending at nearly $259,757.05 while his opponent raised $20,290.50 and spent $16,415.45. Harless was endorsed by many Political Action Committees (PACs) including Texas Real Estate Association (TREPAC), Texas Association of Business, and Texas Parent PAC, while Hurtado was endorsed by groups like the Houston Chronicle, Texas AFL-CIO, and National Association of Workers (NASW).
Mr. Harless ran an agenda to strengthen public schools by fixing the state funding system, providing a safe environment to work and raise a family, and promoting free market principles to encourage job growth and a robust economy. Harless is joining a new class of representative in the 86th Legislature, and hopefully will be a member who is committed to Reforming Austin.