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Texas Election Source provides frequent, insightful updates to our subscribers about the state of elections in Texas. We track more than 600 candidates for statewide office, Congress, the Texas Legislature and the State Board of Education. We also follow special elections, important local elections and constitutional amendment elections. If you’re interested in Texas politics, then let Texas Election Source be your guide to the ballot box.

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Recently Posted News & Analysis

Endorsement, Fundraising and Recount News for January 17

Correction: In yesterday’s report, we erroneously gave HD60 candidate Jon Francis someone else’s first name. We have corrected our story and regret the error.

HD2: Texas Right to Life PAC endorsed both of Rep. Dan Flynn’s (R-Van) primary challengers: Doc Collins and Bryan Slaton.

HD25 open: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Freeport Mayor Troy Brimage to succeed the retiring Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

Campaign Finance and Election News for January 16

We begin our final report of the day with some campaign finance news that we have not included in our prior coverage of incumbents with primary challengers, statewide results and open-seat races and seats potentially in play. We also want to point out that we have corrected two contributor names in our HD60 write-up that resulted from a data error.

Our Crib Sheets have been fully updated with the latest campaign finance results.

HD27: Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City) was out-raised by Republican challenger Manish Seth, $51K to $22K, and Seth has a $22K to $4K advantage in cash on hand. The report for Byron Ross, Reynolds’s primary opponent, was not yet available. Seth’s primary opponent raised $2K.

HD65: Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton) narrowly out-raised Republican challenger Kronda Thimesch, $64K to $57K, but Thimesch has a slight advantage in cash on hand, $54K to $42K. Beckley’s primary challenger raised $9K and has less than $1K on hand. Thimesch’s primary challenger raised $4K and has less than $1K on hand.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

Frequent Updates & Analyses

Our subscribers have access to our complete reports and analyses, including our archives, that cover the gamut from breaking campaign news to thoughtful exploration of the deeper trends in Texas. Links to our latest reports and updates are emailed straight to our subscribers’ inboxes.

Updated Candidate Lists & Campaign Finances

Our subscribers have access to our Crib Sheets: complete, up-to-date and accurate lists of candidates running for Congress, statewide office and the Legislature and more. See their latest campaign finance figures, past election results and other helpful information.

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Real-time Election Returns & Analysis

On Election Nights, our subscribers receive relevant results fast, often before they appear on publicly available outlets, and get our analysis of trends and their implications while votes are still being counted. Know who’s winning before everyone else!

Legislative Campaign Finance Report Highlights

Note: This report has been updated to correct the names of two contributors to the Jon Francis campaign (HD60). For whatever reason, our initial sorting of contributions on his report mis-aligned the contributor names and amounts. Farris and Jo Ann Wilks each contributed $250K, not the two individuals we originally listed. We regret the error.

Yesterday (Wednesday) was the deadline for state officeholders and candidates to file their January semiannual campaign finance reports, disclosing contributions received and expenditures made between July 1 and December 31, or a shorter period if the campaign committee was formed after July 1.

In this report, we examine open legislative seat races and some of the seats potentially in play in November.

Rep. Roland Gutierrez

Rep. Roland
Gutierrez

Sen. Pete Flores

Sen. Pete
Flores

SD19: Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) narrowly out-raised Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton), $189K to $185K, and outspent him, $201K to $55K. Flores has two key advantages: a 3-to-1 advantage in cash on hand over Gutierrez, $327K to $109K, and no primary opponents. Xochil Peña Rodriguez led Gutierrez’s primary rivals with $56K in contributions, $63K in expenditures, $106K in cash on hand and $125K in loan principal. Freddy Ramirez raised $18K and spent $11K. Belinda Shvetz’s report was not yet available.

HD10 open: Ryan Pitts out-raised Jake Ellzey, $176K to $104K, and outspent him, $118K to $53K. Pitts has a slight edge in cash on hand, $61K to $48K. Zack Rader, the third Republican in the race, reported no contributions.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

Record-setting Abbott, Patrick Lead Statewide Officials in Fundraising

Yesterday (Wednesday) was the deadline for state officeholders and candidates to file their January semiannual campaign finance reports, disclosing contributions received and expenditures made between July 1 and December 31, or a shorter period if the campaign committee was formed after July 1.

In this report, we examine the statewide races and the officials not on the ballot in 2022. Led by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), the state officials not up for re-election greatly out-raised those who are on the ballot. The eight non-judicial statewide elected officials not facing the voters until 2022 or 2024 collectively raised $13.8M during the last half of 2019, and they have a combined $62.3M on hand. The eight statewide incumbents on the ballot in 2020 combined to raise $1.6M, and they collectively have $4.5M on hand.

On the Ballot in 2020

Comm. Ryan Sitton

Comm. Ryan
Sitton

RRC: Comm. Ryan Sitton (R) raised $481K, spent $155K and has $2.5M on hand. Primary challenger James Wright reported no contributions or cash on hand. Chrysta Castañeda leads the four-way Democratic field with $46K in contributions followed by Kelly Stone’s $25K and former Rep. Roberto Alonzo’s (D-Dallas) $2K.

Judicial: None of the four Supreme Court incumbents on the ballot face primary opposition.

  • Chief Justice Nathan Hecht (R) raised $296K and has $532K on hand. Democrat Amy Clark Meachum raised $139K and has $119K, both outpacing her primary challenger.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

Most Incumbents Far Ahead of Primary Challengers in Fundraising

Yesterday (Wednesday) was the deadline for state officeholders and candidates to file their January semiannual campaign finance reports, disclosing contributions received and expenditures made between July 1 and December 31, or a shorter period if the campaign committee was formed after July 1.

In this report, we examine the three special runoff elections, their subsequent primary elections and contested primary races involving legislative incumbents.

With few exceptions, incumbents greatly out-raised their challengers and have significant, often exponential, advantages in cash on hand. Reps. Alma Allen (D-Houston) and Harold Dutton (D-Houston) were out-raised by their challengers, the latter entirely because of a transfer from his challenger’s city campaign account.

Special Runoff Elections

HD28 special: Democrat Eliz Markowitz out-raised Republican Gary Gates, $244K to $25K, between October 27 and December 31, but Gates outspent her, $323K to $240K. Markowitz has a $118K to $60K advantage in cash on hand. Gates increased his loan principal by nearly $500K to $1.5M. Schell Hammel, who filed in the Republican primary but not the special election, raised $4K.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

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Assistant Director of Legislative Services, Texas Municipal League

Early Campaign Finance Results and Other News for January 15

Campaign Finance: January semiannual campaign finance reports were due today (Wednesday) for state officeholders and candidates and, where required, local officials and candidates. We expect these reports will be available online beginning sometime tomorrow (Thursday), and we will begin updating our Crib Sheets and reporting key results through the day.

LTGOV: The campaign of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said he raised more than $2M during the last half of 2019, and he has $13.5M on hand, which is the most by a Texas lieutenant governor at this point in the office’s four-year election cycle. It is the fifth highest cash on hand figure he has ever reported. Patrick’s reported cash on hand peaked at $18.1M in January 2018.

HD65: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton) for the Democratic nomination. Jolt Action endorsed primary challenger Paige Dixon.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

Campaign Finance Reports Due and Other News for January 14

Campaign Finance: January semiannual campaign finance reports are due tomorrow (Wednesday) for state officeholders and candidates and, where required, local officials and candidates. We expect these reports will be available online beginning sometime Thursday, and we will begin updating our Crib Sheets and reporting key results through the day. These reports should be filed regardless of whether a candidate or officeholder faces primary opposition.

To the extent possible based on availability of reports and totals, we will proceed with races in this order:

  • Legislative special runoff elections
  • State and legislative incumbents facing primary opponents
  • Non-judicial statewide elected officials
  • Open-seat races for the party holding the seat, and the opposing party’s candidates for seats potentially in play in November
  • All other contested primaries
  • All other incumbents with general election opposition, and
  • Unopposed candidates.

We expect to send two or three “breaking news” alerts during the day and to have most of the new numbers loaded into our Crib Sheets by the end of the day, assuming their availability.

Federal candidates must file their year-end campaign finance reports by January 31. The six candidates in the January 28 special runoff elections have a January 21 deadline to file their runoff campaign finance reports. State candidates facing primary opposition must file their 30-day-out reports by February 3.

Filing Period Begins: Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the first day local candidates can file for a spot on the May 2 general election ballot. The filing deadline is February 14.

GOV: The campaign of Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced he raised $7.8M during the second half of 2019, and he has $32M on hand.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

Crib Sheets Complete and Other News for January 13

Our Crib Sheets have been updated with the Green Party’s candidate slate. They now include the 347 Republicans, 328 Democrats, 90 Libertarians, 14 Greens and 44 independents who have filed for the state’s federal, statewide and legislative offices on the ballot in 2020. Any candidate who did not file by the December 9 deadline may still seek to become a certified write-in candidate. Otherwise, the fields for 2020 are set.

Absent a write-in candidacy, 32 legislative incumbents are unopposed for re-election: Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and Reps. Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd), Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio), Terry Canales (D-Edinburg), Sheryl Cole (D-Austin), Tom Craddick (R-Midland), Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth), Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas), Jay Dean (R-Longview), Art Fierro (D-El Paso), Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), Jessica González (D-Dallas), Mary González (D-Clint), Ana Hernandez (D-Houston), Kyle Kacal (R-College Station), Ken King (R-Canadian), Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa), Ben Leman (R-Iola), J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville), Mando Martinez (D-Weslaco), Will Metcalf (R-Conroe), Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio), Lina Ortega (D-El Paso), Dade Phelan (R-Port Neches), Four Price (R-Amarillo), Richard Raymond (D-Laredo), Toni Rose (D-Dallas), John Smithee (R-Amarillo), Chris Turner (D-Arlington), Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston), Armando Walle (D-Houston) and James White (R-Hilister). All statewide and congressional incumbents seeking re-election have opponents.

HD25 open: Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller (R) endorsed Rhonda Seth to succeed the retiring Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

Brief Election News for January 12

Wednesday is the deadline for state and local (where required) candidates and officeholders to file their January semiannual campaign finance reports. They typically become available online during the next day.

HD28 special: The Gary Gates (R) campaign released a new ad, “False Attacks,” to counter a recent ad from the out-of-state Forward Majority PAC that repeated 20-year-old allegations of child abuse by Gates.

Child Protective Services removed the Gates’s children in 2000 based on a complaint but ultimately returned them and dropped the case against Gates, which was the impetus for changes in state policy regarding the removal of children from a home. The issue has resurfaced during some of Gates’s past campaigns. The new Gates ad criticizes Democratic opponent Eliz Markowitz for the attack ad, but it was paid created and paid for by the out-of-state PAC.

HD74 open: A federal judge has ruled that Ramsey Cantu is eligible to seek the Democratic nomination to succeed Rep. Poncho Nevárez (D-Eagle Pass). Cantu had been ruled ineligible by the state Democratic Party last month but soon obtained a temporary restraining office preventing the production of ballots until a federal court hearing.

HD138 open: Harris Co. Republican Chair Paul Simpson’s determination that Josh Flynn was ineligible to run will stand, but state law requires his name to remain on the ballot. Further legal determinations about his eligibility could occur after the primary election should voters not make the issue moot. Houston homemaker Lacey Hull and Houston conservative media executive Claver Kamau-Imani are the other Republicans seeking to succeed the retiring Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston).

CD32: The campaign of Republican candidate Floyd McLendon Jr. announced he raised $238K during the fourth quarter and has more than $100K on hand.

Midland ISD: District Judge Mackey Hancock ordered election officials to count 837 manual ballots discovered after a November recount determined that a $569 million bond package had narrowly passed. One of the ballots was discovered in an electronic voting machine, and the other 836 paper ballots were found in a box in mid-December. Intervenors in the case requested that the election be voided because gaps in the ballots’ chain of custody cast doubt as to their validity. Hancock said it would be premature to void the election at this time, but he instructed counsel to obtain depositions from Midland Co. election officials regarding the ballots’ chain of custody and legality. The count is expected to be completed within a couple of weeks.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

Independent Filings and Endorsement News for January 9

Forty-four candidates filed declarations of intent to run as an independent for U.S. Senate, Congress, the Texas Senate and the Texas House by the December 9 deadline. This is down from the 68 who filed declarations for 2018 but still much higher than the 15 who filed declarations to run in 2016.

These candidates are not guaranteed a place on the general election ballot. Independents must obtain signatures from registered voters who did not vote in either party’s primary (and runoff, if applicable) or participate in any minor party’s nominating conventions. The deadline for independents to submit signatures is June 25. They may not start gathering signatures until after the primary election, or after the primary runoff if one is needed for the office they are seeking. In that case, they have approximately one month to gather the lesser of 500 signatures or 5% of all votes cast for governor in 2018 in the district. The U.S. Senate candidates need 83,435 signatures, which is 1% of the votes cast for governor in 2018.

Historically, few independents obtain sufficient signatures to become certified for the general election ballot. Eight (12%) independent candidates were certified for 2018, and just one (7%) was certified for 2016.

Our Crib Sheets have been updated to add any independents that we had not already included. We will add the Green Party’s candidates once we receive information about them.

Correction: In yesterday’s report, we erroneously gave CD11 candidate August Pfluger someone else’s first name. We have corrected the mistake and regret the error.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

TRO Issued in SD19 Residency Case and Other News for January 8

SD19: District Judge Cathleen Stryker granted a motion for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the Texas Democratic Party from Belinda Shvetz on the primary ballot. Candidate Xochil Rodriguez filed the suit in December, alleging that Shvetz does not live, and is not registered to vote, in the district. In a Facebook post published over the weekend, Shvetz said she “Will Not Be Silenced!” and accused Rodriguez of engaging in “bullying tactics.” Former Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) and San Antonio attorney Freddy Ramirez are also in the race. The winner will face Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) and Libertarian candidate Jo-Anne Valdivia in the general election.

HD9: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) for re-election.

HD47: The Texas Home School Coalition PAC endorsed Aaron Reitz to challenge Rep. Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

Ad, Endorsement and Early Voting News for January 7

Our Crib Sheets have been updated to show the complete list of Libertarian candidates, which we received today (Tuesday). We are still seeking the Green Party’s roster of candidates and the list of candidates who filed declarations of intent to run as independents from the Secretary of State. We have also updated our Municipal Elections page to list the offices scheduled to be on the ballots for the May 2 and November 3 general elections.

HD28 special: The Forward Majority PAC, a national Democratic group, released a new ad resurrecting allegations against Republican candidate Gary Gates stemming from his 13 children being taken by Child Protective Services in 2000. CPS ultimately dropped the case, which was the impetus for changes in state policy regarding the removal of children from a home. The issue has resurfaced during some of Gates’s past campaigns. Early voting for the runoff begins January 21.

HD85: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC endorsed Rep. Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton) for re-election.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC

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Jeff Blaylock

Jeff Blaylock

Publisher

Jeff is a political junkie, longtime public policy wonk and former Texas Legislature staffer who has worked political campaigns in Texas and several other states, ranging from school boards to legislators to governors to referenda. He is a public and government affairs consultant based in Austin, Texas, who offers his keen insights about Lone Star State politics as Texas Election Source.

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