In what’s shaping up to be one of the most-watched state house races in Texas, an unlikely underdog has emerged with a surprising fundraising prowess and what Democrats are hoping could the ability to pick up one of the nine open seats needed to flip the House ahead of redistricting in 2021.
Eliz Markowitz, is the Democratic candidate fighting to serve out the term of State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond in House District 28.
The trainer, instructor and writer for the Princeton Review knocked on nearly 60,000 doors and raised nearly $300,000, while her Republican opponent, businessman Gary Gates spent more than a half-million dollars on his own self-funded campaign.
“My game plan going forward is to win,” Markowitz chuckled frankly.
“Our grassroots campaign with thousands of supporters is ready to prove that the Texas Legislature can’t be bought,” said Markowitz, nodding to the half million dollars Gates spent out of his own pocket to fund his own campaign.
Gates, a businessman who owns approximately 7,500 apartment units, says he understands the challenge ahead.
“Money isn’t going to slow me down. It may take another half million,” said Gates.
“One of my battles is to try to reach out. Because I don’t think the Republican Party is giving enough attention and credence to it.”
Markowitz said she finds it disappointing that Gates thinks he can buy his seat.
“My campaign is powered by the people, run for the people. My community deserves a state representative who represents diverse communities, not the top one percent or special interests.”
Fort Bend Republicans are taking Markowitz seriously, acknowledging battle ahead.
“This is our Alamo and we will defend it,” said Linda Howell, chair of Fort Bend GOP. “We have a Republican history.”
Early voting begins January 21st, Election Day is January 28th.