Questions Surround State Rep. Candidate’s Financial Connections

A candidate for Texas State Representative has financial connections that should raise questions for potential voters.

Cynthia Flores, who is running for House District 52 (primarily Round Rock, Hutto, and Taylor), is campaigning on the promise of lower taxes, yet her biggest financial contributors have decidedly anti-taxpayer voting records.

Flores is running for the seat vacated by Larry Gonzales, who announced last summer that he would not be seeking reelection. Since stepping down, Gonzales has been actively campaigning for Flores. More significant than the numerous social media posts and pictures with Flores is a $42,000 contribution from Gonzales to her campaign.

Gonzales’ voting record in the Texas House earned failing ratings from a variety of conservative organizations, such as Texans for Fiscal Responsibility (TFR), Young Conservatives of Texas, and Texas Eagle Forum. He voted against numerous pro-taxpayer bills, including legislation that would have allowed Texans to vote on property tax hikes and others that reduced regulations on Texas businesses.

Flores’ husband, Rene, currently serves on the Round Rock City Council and has voted to raise the city property tax rate every year since his election in 2016.

Furthermore, the Associated Republicans of Texas (ART) also donated $15,000 to Cynthia Flores’ campaign. ART is known for supporting liberal candidates with anti-taxpayer voting records, including $83,000 for abortion advocate Sarah Davis and $102,000 for Jason Villalba, who both earned horribly failing grades on TFR’s Fiscal Responsibility Index.

ART also received $200,000 from Texans for Joe Straus, a PAC supportive of the retiring five-term Speaker of the House who was officially censured by the State Republican Executive Committee. Nearly 70 percent of Flores’ total campaign contributions come solely from Larry Gonzales and ART.

At a recent candidate forum, Flores was asked if she would disagree with how Gonzales voted on certain tax legislation. “Larry has done a wonderful job supporting district 52,” she began. “Up in the legislature they have so much more information than what I have in front of me… so I cannot answer that question.”

Taxpayers need representatives who will take care of their money and let them keep more of what they earn. These findings raise questions of how Flores would vote if elected.

Time is running out for Flores to provide clarity to the voters. She lost an opportunity when she skipped a candidate debate back in January. Jeremy Story, another Republican candidate also running in the race, subsequently asked Flores publicly if she would participate in another debate before the March primary. She did not give a response.

Voters deserve to hear each candidate discuss their policy positions so they can make an informed decision on the representative who will best serve the people’s interest.

Flores’ financial contributions, public statements, and actions give taxpayers good reason to question whether or not she will protect their hard-earned tax dollars, if elected.

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Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is the Central Texas Bureau Chief for Empower Texans. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and earned a double major in public relations and piano performance. After graduating in 2017, he returned to Austin and joined the Empower Texans team.

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