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Meet the 86th: A Conversation With New Members of the Texas House


Meet the 86th: A Conversation With New Members of the Texas House

Join The Texas Tribune in person or on our livestream for a conversation with new Texas state Reps. Rhetta Bowers, Jessica Gonzalez and James Talarico, moderated by Texas Tribune co-founder and CEO Evan Smith.

Bowers, D-Garland, was elected to represent House District 113 in November. Before her election, Bowers was an educator, PTA member, and volunteer at Garland ISD. She was appointed to the Rowlett Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and served from 2009-16. She is a former broadcast journalist.

Gonzalez, D-Dallas, was elected to represent House District 104 in November. She is a founding partner of the law firm Gandara & Gonzalez PLLC, which specializes in personal injury litigation. Gonzalez was previously selected as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Law Graduate Fellow in Washington, D.C. and served as a legislative assistant at the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011.

Talarico, D-Round Rock, was elected to represent House District 52 in November. He is a former public school teacher and executive director for Central Texas for the non-profit Reasoning Mind, which integrates data and technology into math classrooms. Talarico is the youngest member of the Texas Legislature. 


This event is free and open to the public. Coffee, breakfast tacos (while they last!) and networking begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by the interview at 8 a.m.

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Learn more and become a member at

Our Conversation Series is presented by AT&T, Walmart and 86th legislative session sponsor BillsUpNow. Breakfast and coffee provided by Tacodeli and Caffe Aragona.

Though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite The Texas Tribune events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning.

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