Meet Team Howard 


Donna Howard

Rep. Donna Howard was first elected to the Texas House in 2006. She is currently in her fourth session as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees the state budget. As an Appropriations member, she also sits on the Article III Subcommittee – which handles education spending. Donna is Vice Chair of the House Administration Committee, which sets the rules and processes governing the Texas House of Representatives. She is also a longtime member of the Higher Education Committee. She is a leader on school finance, nursing, women's health and accountable government.

Jacob Cottingham, Chief of Staff

Jacob Cottingham was raised in Louisville, Kentucky and educated at Bard College and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. When he's not enjoying the thrilling experience of raising two small children, he relaxes by smoking meats, sipping bourbon and swapping stories with friends. After starting two publications in Savannah, Georgia he and his wife traveled the country for 10 months in a 1972 Airstream Land Yacht, after which they decided to call Austin home and promptly boon-docked in the Threadgill's parking lot. Since then, he's worked for the City of Austin, Travis County and the State of Texas. He was Legislative Director for Rep. Howard for the 83-85th Sessions.

Contact Jacob:


Cristina Masters, Policy Aide &
Director of Constituent Services

Cristina is proud to be the product of military parents and has widely travelled the country and abroad. She earned her Masters degree in International Politics from the University of Edinburgh and has professional experience working in child welfare and education policy. She resides in HD 48 with her husband and two sons. Ask her about her cat.

Contact Cristina about: public education, child welfare, criminal justice,


Renzo Soto, Legislative Director

Jann Lorenzo Soto (Renzo, for short) was born and raised in Cabanatuan City, Philippines, for nearly seven years until immigrating to Harlingen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. He then went on to attend the University of Texas at Austin before starting out at the Texas Capitol during the 85th Session. In his spare time, he loves binge watching shows with his two cats and trying out new foods.

Contact Renzo about budget, healthcare and nursing issues.