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.

HD2: Challenger Bryan Slaton out-raised Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van), $151K to $50K, and outspent him, $31K to $7K. Slaton has a $147K to $32K advantage in cash on hand. Nearly all of Slaton’s contributions came from two sources: Midland oil executive Tim Dunn ($75K) and Cisco businessman Farris Wilks ($75K). Doc Collins, the third Republican in the race, raised less than $5K and has $15K on hand.

HD25 open: Troy Brimage raised $193K, nearly triple the rest of the Republican field combined. He received no contributions above $9K. Rhonda Seth was second with $58K, nearly $54K more than any other candidate besides Brimage. Nearly two-thirds of Seth’s total came from Houston physician Kanti Banoal ($38K). Brimage has a $62K to $25K advantage in cash on hand.

HD26 open: Jacey Jetton raised $27K and has $72K on hand, which amounted to $25K more in contributions and $66K more in available funds than either of his Republican rivals. On the Democratic side, no candidate exceeded $9K in contributions. Suleman Lalani ($86K) and Risk Oberoi ($50K) have large advantages in cash on hand over the other two candidates.

HD41: Democratic challenger Richard Gonzales out-raised Rep. Bobby Guerra (D-Mission), but neither raised $5K. Guerra has a $148K to $32K advantage in cash on hand.

HD47: Jenny Roan Forgey led the Republican field with $18K in contributions, more than the other four combined, and she has a field-leading $62K on hand. Former Austin council member Don Zimmerman spent $41K, more than the rest of the field combined, and he has $54K on hand. Jennifer Fleck and Aaron Reitz each have around $20K on hand.

HD59: Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville) raised $37K, about triple the amount raised by challenger Shelby Slawson, and he has the advantage in cash on hand, $92K to $50K over her. Cody Johnson loaned his campaign an additional $800K to bring his loan principal to nearly $1.2M, and he has spent the most in the race ($125K for the period, $415K overall).

HD65: Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton) raised $15K and has a $35K to $1K advantage in cash on hand over Paige Dixon. On the Republican side, neither Nancy Cline nor Kronda Thimesch raised more than $5K. Cline loaned herself $21K, bringing her loan principal to $38K, but she still trails Thimesch in cash on hand, $47K to $2K.

HD92 open: Republican Jeff Cason raised $181K and has $119K on hand, nearly $100K more than his nearest rival. Nearly all of Cason’s contributions came from three sources: Midland oil executive Tim Dunn ($75K), Cisco businessman Farris Wilks ($75K) and Flower Mound retiree Darlene Pendery ($25K). On the Democratic side, neither candidate raised more than $5K. Jeff Whitfield has a $103K advantage in cash on hand.

HD100: Rep.-elect Lorraine Birabil (D-Dallas) narrowly out-raised Jasmine Crockett, $11K to $10K, despite Birabil’s reporting period covering only four days. Birabil has $24K on hand. Runoff opponent and primary rival James Armstrong III’s report was not available.

HD108: None of the Democrats seeking to challenge Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) raised more than $5K. Shawn Terry has $143K on hand, well ahead of Joanna Cattanach’s $51K and Tom Ervin’s $31K.

HD128: Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) out-raised Robert Hoskins, $41K to $16K, and he has a $93K advantage in cash on hand.

HD142: Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston) out-raised Houston council member Jerry Davis, $34K to $16K, but the challenger has the advantage in cash on hand, $109K to $58K.

HD148: Rep.-elect Anna Eastman (D-Houston) was narrowly out-raised by both Penny “Morales” Shaw and Adrian Garcia, but Eastman’s reporting period covered just four days. No one in the race reported more than $20K on hand.

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