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Recently Posted News & Analysis

Abbott, Major PACs Provide $1M+ in ‘Late Train’ Contributions

Runoff candidates who receive more than $1,890 from a single source on or after May 15 must disclose those contributions in daily pre-election reports (formerly known as telegram reports). These “late train” contributions typically come from a handful of major donors and go to “establishment” candidates, at least on the Republican side. This year was no exception.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville), Associated Republicans of Texas PAC, Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and the Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC combined have contributed over $1M to runoff candidates since May 15.

AG (Lean R): Challenger George P. Bush (R) reported an additional $209K in four daily reports, including contributions from Dallas energy executive Kelcy Warren ($50K), former President George W. Bush ($25K), Glen Rose rancher Bobby Hill ($25K), Houston investor Steven Webster ($25K), Midland executive Tripp Womack ($15K), Little Rock (Ark.) retiree William Carlton ($10K) and Houston investor Charles Tate ($10K). Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) reported an additional $39K in two daily reports, including $26K from Gilmer-based David L. Stevenson LLC.

SD24 open (Likely R): Former Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) reported an additional $100K in three daily reports, including contributions from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s campaign ($34K), Houston executive John Nau ($25K) and Dallas executive Ross Perot Jr. ($25K). Raul Reyes Jr. (R) has not reported additional contributions.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Abbott Endorses Kitzman’s Challenge of Stephenson

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) endorsed former Waller Co. Comm. Stan Kitzman (R) in the runoff over Rep. Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton), one of four Republican legislators forced into runoffs this cycle. Abbott is at least the third statewide election official to endorse Kitzman, joining Comp. Glenn Hegar (R) and Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller (R).

In March, Stephenson finished first in a four-way primary with 40% of the vote, followed by Kitzman (35%), Fayetteville insurance agent Fred Roberts (16%) and Brookshire educator Art Hernandez (10%). The latter two candidates combined raised less than $8K for the race.

Stephenson can blame redistricting for this runoff appearance. Since he was elected in 2012, Stephenson has represented southern Fort Bend Co. and all of Jackson and Wharton Cos. His colleagues dramatically redrew HD85 (Safe R) by removing Jackson Co. and much of Fort Bend Co and adding Austin, Colorado, Fayette and Waller Cos. In the March primary, Stephenson received around 80% of the vote in counties he has represented and around 25% in counties that were added to the district.

Unlike the other three House Republicans forced into runoffs, Stephenson received virtually no campaign contributions from his colleagues’ individual campaign accounts or personal funds.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Early Voting Turnout Comparable to Recent Statewide Runoffs

Early voting for the May 24 primary runoff election continues through Friday.

Through yesterday (Tues.), the second day of early voting, a total of 193K people had voted in the Republican primary in person (68%) or by mail (32%) and 129K people had voted in the Democratic primary in person (49%) or by mail (51%). Combined turnout through two days was 1.87% of registered voters.

In the 15 counties with the most registered voters, Republican turnout is just shy of the 2014 pace and well ahead of 2016, the last year that a statewide runoff occurred.

In those counties, Democratic turnout is roughly the same as in 2018 at this point in early voting but well below the 2020 U.S. Senate runoff. Bexar Co. is currently setting a record pace with nearly 18K early voters so far, likely a product of the county judge runoff.

Campaign Finance

Runoff reports were due Monday from state candidates in contested runoff elections. These reports typically become available the day after they are filed. Several reports, including those highlighted below, did not become available until today (Wed.).

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Runoff Candidates Raise More Than $17M for Final Push

State candidates facing runoffs were required to file their runoff campaign finance reports yesterday (Monday). These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made between February 10 and May 14. Most reports were available online today (Tuesday), and we highlight significant reports below.

Statewide

LTGOV (Lean R): Mike Collier (D) out-raised Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), $488K to $12K, and outspent her, $507K to $18K.

AG (Lean R): Land Comm. George P. Bush (R) raised $2.3M, spent $2.8M and has $731K on hand. The report from Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) was not available online. He had $4.7M on hand as of February 19.

Bush’s largest contributors for the period included Dallas energy executive Kelcy Warren ($200K), Copperas Cove executive Jeffery Hilderbrand ($100K), Palm Beach (Fla.) executive Douglas Devos and family members ($80K collectively), Moultrie (Ga.) executive Drayton McLane ($60K), San Antonio investor Jamal Daniel ($50K), Georgetown executive Ray Hunt ($50K), Lewisville executive Ira Mitzner ($50K), Q PAC ($50K), Houston investor Bradley Cross ($40K) and Grand Rapids (Mich.) engineer Greg Bird ($33K).

On the Democratic side, Joe Jaworski narrowly out-raised Rochelle Garza, $373K to $334K, and even more narrowly outspent her, $370K to $366K. He holds a $73K to $37K edge in cash on hand.

LAND open (Likely R): Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) raised $797K and spent just over $1.0M, both many orders of magnitude over her opponent. On the Democratic side, Jay Kleberg similarly dwarfed his opponent, raising $522K and spending $415K.

Subscribers can read the rest of this analysis.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Weeklong Early Voting Period for Primary Runoffs Set to Begin

Early voting for the May 24 runoff election begins tomorrow (Monday) and runs through Friday.

State candidates’ runoff campaign finance reports are due tomorrow and likely will become available online Tuesday. These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made between February 10 and May 14.

New Poll: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) leads Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke (D), 46%-39%, according to a new Dallas Morning News/UT-Tyler poll.

Abbott leads among White voters, 58%-30%, and among men, 52%-34% (not printed but calculated from other population results). O’Rourke leads among Black voters, 59%-16%; Hispanic/Latino voters, 46%-36%; and women, 44%-40%. Abbott leads O’Rourke among independents, 38%-31% (calculated from other population results, although the crosstabs indicate his lead among independents is 16%-6%, almost certainly a misprint).

Turning to the May 24 runoffs, Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) leads Land Comm. George P. Bush (R), 41%-35%, with a quarter of primary voters undecided. Paxton’s lead is larger among “certain” voters, 46%-31%.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Cisneros Collects Nearly 60% of Congressional Runoff Contributions

Early voting for the May 24 runoff election begins Monday.

Congressional candidates facing runoffs were required to file their pre-runoff campaign finance reportsyesterday (Thursday). These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made between April 1 and May 4.

Collectively, runoff candidates raised just over $2M during the period, of which nearly 60% was raised by one candidate. In CD28 (Lean D), progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros out-raised U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), $1.2M to $352K. She narrowly outspent him, $832K to $743K, and she entered the campaign’s final stretch with a $1.4M to $1.0M advantage in cash on hand.

Over the election cycle, Cisneros has out-raised Cuellar, $4.4M to $3.0M. She raised just under $2M for her unsuccessful 2020 primary challenge.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 Texas Election Source LLC

Poll, Endorsement and Judicial News for May 11

Early voting for the May 24 runoff election begins Monday.

AG (Lean R): Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) leads Land Comm. George P. Bush (R), 58%-31%, according to a new poll commissioned by Defend Texas Liberty PAC, virtually unchanged from its April poll.

LAND open (Likely R): That poll found Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) leading Tim Westley, 34%-18%, but 48% of respondents were undecided. Westley’s support has not changed since the April poll, but Buckingham’s slid 8 points.

RRC (Likely R): Railroad Comm. Wayne Christian (R) leads Sarah Stogner, 46%-24%, with 30% undecided, according to the poll conducted for Defend Texas Liberty PAC.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2022 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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