State candidates in contested primary elections were required to file their 30-day-out campaign finance reports yesterday (Monday). These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made during the first 23 days of 2020. Historically, these reports provide far less insight than the recently filed January semiannual reports and the upcoming 8-day-out reports. This year’s crop followed that trend, and we changed no race ratings as a result. Highlights and observations are listed below.

The 175 candidates whose reports were available online today (Tuesday) collectively raised $2.2M during the first 23 days of 2020. Just 21 of them reported raising at least $30K, and 13 of those were incumbents. Only three candidates – Troy Brimage in open HD25, Jeff Cason in open HD92 and challenger Bryan Slaton in HD2 – raised more than $100K (all over $150K). Cason and Slaton each received $75K contributions from Midland oil executive Tim Dunn and Cisco businessman Farris Wilks, accounting for most of their totals. Brimage received no contributions above $9K.

Candidates challenging incumbents had particularly low figures aside from Slaton. The next-highest challenger’s contribution total was the $16K raised by Robert Hoskins, who is challenging Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) in HD128. Other challengers raising at least $10K were Jasmine Crockett in HD100 (Birabil), Jerry Davis in HD142 (Dutton), Adrian Garcia in HD148 (Eastman), Penny “Morales” Shaw in HD148 (Eastman), Shelby Slawson in HD59 (Sheffield).

These candidates’ 8-day-out reports should shed more light on the states of play in these races. They are due February 24.

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