Briscoe Cain

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Briscoe Rowell Cain, III

Texas State Representative for
District 128 (Harris County)
Assumed office 
January 10, 2017
Preceded by Wayne Smith

Born December 9, 1984
Place of birth missing

Resident of Deer Park in Harris County, Texas

Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Bergundi Dleis Walker Cain
(married 2011)
Children Three children
Alma mater San Jacinto College

University of Houston
South Texas College of Law

Occupation Lawyer

Member, Texas State Guard

Religion Christian

Briscoe Rowell Cain, III (born December 9, 1984)[1] is a Houston-area lawyer who is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 128 in Harris County. He unseated seven-term Representative Wayne Smith of Baytown by only twenty-three votes in his party's runoff election held on May 24, 2016.


Cain's great-great-grandfather, Whitfield Briscoe Cain (1874-1955),[2] was a dentist in Frankin, Texas, who at the age of twenty-two killed John M. Myatt (1852-1896), whom Cain claimed had slandered his wife, Bertha Bicker Cain (1877-1975), to whom the dentist had been married for one year. The jury found Cain not guilty in the case. Whatever Myatt said to Cain remains unknown.[3]

Cain's grandfather, Briscoe Cain, Sr. (1931-2011), was a mayor of Calvert in Robertson County and a resident of Franklin in central Texas at the time of his death.[4] His parents are Briscoe, Jr., and Melissa E. Cain of Deer Park in Harris County. In July 2011, Cain wed the former Bergundi Dleis Walker;[5] they reside with their three children in Deer Park.

Cain graduated from San Jacinto College, the University of Houston, and the South Texas College of Law, also in Houston. In law school, he was a founder of the first pro-life law student organization in Texas and the president of the campus Federalist Society.[6] He is a member of the Texas State Guard.


Now in solo private practice, Cain is a former legal associate of two Houston-area conservative political figures, the retired Judge Paul Pressler[6][7] and Jared Woodfill, the former chairman of the Republican Party in Harris County. Some of Cain's advertising signs cited him as the "Conservative Outsider" in the race.[8]

Cain worked prior to 2014 for current Texas State District Judge John Schmude. When the Smith camp raised concerns that Cain is a personal injury trial lawyer, Judge Schmude, who is forbidden by law from endorsing candidates, issued a clarification: "[Cain] took over most of my active caseload, which almost entirely centered on family law matters. Based on my personal experience and to the best of my knowledge in working with Briscoe, I can confidently say that Briscoe is not and never has been a personal injury trial lawyer. ... My firm focused primarily on family law and, to a lesser extent, various probate and constitutional law matters."[9]

Cain polled 3,045 votes (50.2 percent) to Smith's 3,022 (49.8 percent).[10] In the second round of balloting, Cain picked up the support of a third primary candidate, Melody McDaniel. Though Smith sought a recount, he failed to overturn Cain's lead.[8][11] Cain ran in the November 8 general election without Democratic opposition.[12] However, a Libertarian Party candidate, Ken Lowder, unsuccessfully contested Cain's election.[13][14]

One issue in the 2016 campaign focused on the placement of tolls on the Fred Hartman Bridge spanning the Houston Ship Channel. Cain claimed that an online petition opposing tolls was a “preventative measure” because, “Smith’s work history and legislative record on transportation gives Texans plenty to be concerned about.”[12] Bob Leiper, a former city manager in Baytown, leaped to Smith's defense in a "Letter to the Editor" of The Baytown Sun: I was astounded by Briscoe Cain‘s claim that Rep. Wayne Smith is somehow trying to make the Hartman Bridge a toll bridge. As an attorney you would think he would seek the truth before making such a wild claim and blaming it on one of the best friends and advocate Baytown ever had in Austin.[12]

In 2016, Cain was lead attorney for a group of law enforcement personnel whose Bible study was forbidden by the City of Beaumont, Texas. Earlier, he represented pastors in Houston whose First Amendment rights were restricted by former Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian. Because of Cain's stance on religious freedom issues he won the backing of the interest group, Texas Values Action. Jonathan Saenz, the president of TVA, termed Cain "a proven leader for religious freedom, marriage, and life [with an] unwavering commitment to fighting for faith, family, and freedom ..."[15]

In 2017, Cain obtained House passage of an appropriations bill amendment which prohibits elective surgery for Texas convicts, including abortions and sex-change operations.[16]

Cain amassed the most conservative voting record in the 2017 session of the Texas House, according to the index produced by Rice University political scientist Mark Jones.[17] In his bid for a second term, Cain ran without opposition in the Republican primary held on March 6, 2018. He is a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus in the state House.

In 2018, Cain set a Twitter message upon the death of the physicist Stephen Hawking: “Stephen Hawking now knows the truth about how the universe was actually made. My condolences to his family.” Cain described the scientist as "a vocal atheist, who advocated against and openly mocked God".[17] Cain was widely criticized for insensitivity regarding the tweet. Democratic Representative “Poncho” Nevarez of Eagle Pass in Maverick County, responded: “At a time like this, and I don’t care who it is, and I am sure they care less who you are, but mocking the deceased and his family reveals the smallness of your character. Be better than that.”[17]Aaron Harris of the interest group Direct Action Texas, which is allied with the Freedom Caucus, tweeted: “And the godless freak out at the truth that one day we ALL face the reality of Our Creator. Well said, Briscoe Cain."[17]

In March 2021, Representative Cain gained passage of his landmark Texas Heartbeat Act, which forbids abortions in Texas past five weeks of gestation. The issue was debated before the United States Supreme Court later in 2021.[18]


  1. Briscoe Cain. Retrieved on December 6, 2021.
  2. Whitfield Briscoe Cain. Retrieved on December 6, 2021.
  3. The Murder Trial of Briscoe Cain: Murder over slander in 1896}author=Michelle H. Davis. (October 18 2021). Retrieved on December 6, 2021.
  4. Briscoe Rowell Cain. McCauley Funeral Home (February 2011). Retrieved on June 5, 2016.
  5. Marriage Licenses, July 25-29, 2011. Retrieved on June 5, 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Briscoe R. Cain, III. The Cain Law Firm. Retrieved on June 5, 2016.
  7. Pressler was one of the key figures in the Southern Baptist Convention Conservative Resurgence, a movement which countered the growing trend toward liberal theology in the USA's largest Protestant denomination.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Briscoe Cain. Facebook. Retrieved on June 5, 2016.
  9. The following is a statement by State District Judge, John Schmude, regarding the allegations that Briscoe Cain is a personal injury trial lawyer .... Retrieved on June 5, 2016.
  10. Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (May 24, 2016). Retrieved on June 5, 2016.
  11. Patrick Svitek (June 3, 2016). Challenger's Win Over Rep. Wayne Smith Stands After Recount. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved on 12 January 2017.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Stacey Glaesmann (March 4, 2016). Cain, Smith head to run-off election in District 128. Retrieved on June 5, 2016.
  13. Texas 128th District State House Results: Briscoe Cain Wins. The New York Times (December 13, 2016). Retrieved on January 12, 2017.
  14. Matt Hollis (January 8, 2017). District 128’s new rep ready for duty. The Baytown Sun. Retrieved on 12 January 2017.
  15. "Briscoe Cain gets another endorsement in Texas House Districe 128 race", Big Jolly Politics, January 4, 2016.
  16. Texas House Refuses to Vote on Swanson Amendment: "No Men in Women's Bathrooms!". (April 7, 2016). Retrieved on April 10, 2017.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Jonathan Tilove (March 14, 2018). In a tweet of condolence, Rep. Briscoe Cain trolls Stephen Hawking. Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved on March 19, 2018.
  18. Kristan Hawkins (November 1, 2021). Meet Rep. Briscoe Cain, Whose Abortion Ban Has Saves the Lives of Thousands of Babies. Retrieved on December 6, 2021.