Deanna Maria Metzger wants Texas Latinos to unleash their inner reactionary. Running against Democratic incumbent Victoria Neave in North Texas’ House District 107, Metzger made her pitch in a September video celebrating Republican Pete Flores’ surprise victory in a San Antonio special state Senate election. “We believe in family; we’re pro-life; we’re pro-Second amendment … we’re Republican, deep down,” she said. “We’re gonna take out this Democrat who thinks we’re radical leftists.”
Metzger, who is Mexican American and proud of her inability to speak Spanish, holds a law degree and owns a construction company. A political newcomer, she’s a Republican in the Empower Texans mold — meaning, if elected, she’ll pair tax cuts with a rule that women must learn to juggle at least 24 hours before getting an abortion. (Or something like that.) Since July 1, around 65 percent of the $112,000 she’s raised has come from a pair of Empower Texans PACs and the Texas House’s least-loved right-wing bomb thrower, Jonathan Stickland.
Texas’ far-right kingmakers are investing in Metzger because Neave, who’s finishing her first term, won her 2016 election by less than 2 percentage points. That, and Neave got drunk last June and crashed her BMW into a tree. Still, Republicans have their work cut out for them. Neave’s 2016 unseating of Kenneth Sheets shocked many, but this year, Democrats aim to flip up to seven North Texas state House seats. Instead of an outlier, her victory may have been a harbinger of a larger Democratic shift. In 2010, her district was already 54 percent non-Anglo; in 2016, Hillary Clinton carried the district by 9 points.
Neave has outraised Metzger and has more cash on hand. She also had a good first legislative session, passing a bill to fund the testing of rape kits and earning “freshman of the year” accolades from her Democratic colleagues. She also helped lead both the 2017 and 2018 Women’s Marches in Dallas. Plus, Metzger has had some controversy of her own: Last year, a complaint was filed against her after she registered to vote at the address of a vacant house in Mesquite worth $82,000. As WFAA reported, four months later, “Metzger renewed the registration on her black Porsche to a $700,000 property with a pool in a gated community outside Fort Worth.”