Coppell Chronicle Vol. 3, No. 48
Aspiring State Legislators Detail Their Finances • Coppell Incumbents Aim to Keep Their Seats • Irving Voters May Consider Replacing City Hall • DART’s Silver Line Project Keeps Chugging Along
I dropped by the Coppell High School Arena on Friday night to root for the Cowboys basketball team and to see how the Coppell Chronicle’s sponsorship of the program had been manifested. Man, did I get my money’s worth. Here are two examples of my smiling mug in a single photo:
The girls and boys basketball teams will host doubleheaders on Friday and on Jan. 30, and the latter date will be Senior Night. Let’s jam the gym, Coppell!
Aspiring State Legislators Detail Their Finances
Three candidates are competing for the Democratic nomination in Texas House District 115, which encompasses the vast majority of both Coppell and Coppell ISD. Their campaign finance reports for the second half of 2023 were due last week, and what follows is my analysis of those reports.
I normally list candidates in alphabetical order, but because this article is about money, we’re going to start with the one who raised the most — by far.
Cassandra Hernandez is an attorney and a resident of Farmers Branch. She was a candidate in House District 70 in 2022, when she lost a runoff to Mihaela Plesa, who would go on to prevail in the general election.
Hernandez reported $169,921 worth of monetary contributions in 2023 — $109,150 in the first half of the year and $60,771 in the second half. She had more than $88,600 on hand at year’s end.
Nearly $104,000 was contributed by entities as opposed to individuals. Those 24 entities included more than 10 law firms, and the Hernandez Law Group — where the candidate works with her father, Juan Hernandez — was among them. Their firm pitched in $10,000.
The Hernandezes specialize in representing people who have been injured, and at least seven facilities that treat injured people contributed to her campaign. For example, Texas Healthcare Neck & Back Clinics and Holistiq Spine & Orthopaedic each donated $10,000.
Hernandez’s campaign also raised more than $66,000 contributed by 161 individuals. The most generous contributor was Victoria Fernandez, the marketing director for ASP Cares Pharmacy who also happens to be engaged to Dallas City Council Member Jaime Resendez; she donated $10,000. The next largest amount was $3,000 from Dallas attorney Kristina Kastl. State Rep. Julie Johnson of Farmers Branch — whom Hernandez and her rivals are competing to succeed — was one of five contributors to cough up $2,500.
(Johnson is vacating the District 115 seat after three terms because she’s running for the District 32 seat in Congress. That position is available because U.S. Rep. Colin Allred is running for the Senate.)
One of Hernandez’s rivals is Kate Rumsey, an Air Force reservist and former federal prosecutor who now practices law with the Sheppard Mullin firm. This is the Coppell resident’s first run for public office.
She reported $57,081 worth of monetary contributions from 246 individuals and two entities — all in the second half of 2023. She had nearly $40,000 on hand at year’s end.
Rumsey received $5,000 from the campaign of Sharon Hirsch, a two-time candidate in House District 66, and $1,000 from the political action committee of the Texas Pharmacy Business Council. Her father, Louis Rumsey, is a retired pharmacist.
Rumsey’s most generous individual contributor was her dad, who is also her campaign treasurer; he gave $2,615 to his daughter’s effort. Two people — Dallas attorney Michael Lynn and Les Sherman, a Realtor from Georgetown, Texas — each donated $2,000. Eleven other individuals, including Coppell attorney David Thompson, contributed at least $1,000. Nearly a third of Rumsey’s funds came from non-Texans.
Rumsey also reported $37,000 worth of in-kind contributions from a pair of consulting firms — $25,000 worth of services by Siren Consulting, which Tina Sohne of Euless formed last year, and $12,000 worth of work by Austin-based Blue Victory Communications. The rest of her in-kind contributions were $5,728 worth of web-related services from her brother Scott Rumsey.
The third Democrat in the race is Scarlett Cornwallis, who resides in South Haven, a Coppell ISD subdivision I wrote about last year in “Isolated Neighborhood Stuck in Fast Lane.” Hey, if Cornwallis gets elected, maybe she can help secure that deceleration lane her neighbors have been seeking for years.
Cornwallis reported a grand total of $60 worth of contributions in 2023 — $50 from Dallas College Trustee Catalina Garcia (who also gave $350 to Hernandez) plus $10 from Albert Davis of Carrollton. Cornwallis, who is employed as a customer solutions manager for Amazon Web Services, said she loaned her campaign $20,000 of her own money.
(Her husband, Alex Cornwallis, is one of nine Democrats competing with Johnson in Congressional District 32. In 2022, he was the Democratic nominee in State Board of Education District 12. Scarlett was the treasurer for that campaign, but now David Smith of Plano serves that role dually for both of the Cornwallises.)
Early voting for the March 5 primary will begin on Feb. 20; I plan to publish these three candidates’ answers to a short questionnaire in my Feb. 18 edition. The victor will face Coppell Mayor Pro Tem John Jun in November, because he is the only Republican candidate in District 115.
By the way, Jun’s campaign finance report was even shorter than the one Cornwallis filed. He loaned his campaign $5,000 and reported a single $100 contribution from a City Council colleague, Biju Mathew.
Coppell Incumbents Aim to Keep Their Seats
Wednesday was the first day to file a candidacy for this year’s municipal elections, and the six incumbents on the Coppell City Council and the Coppell ISD Board of Trustees wasted no time turning in their paperwork. If any of them draw challengers, I expect that won’t happen until Feb. 16, the final day of the filing period.