State candidates with primary opposition were required to file their 8-day-out campaign finance reports yesterday (Monday). Much of the drama found in these reports in recent election cycles was missing this year. In 2018, candidates for the House and Senate raised $13.9M during this period of time. This year, they raised $5.4M.
Part of this is due to the limited number of hotly contested primary races, but the absence of Empower Texans PAC, which has historically placed large bets on Republican races during this time period. Empower Texans PAC spent $1.4M during this period for 2018, up from $1.0M in 2016 and $708K in 2014. The PAC has not filed a report since its January semiannual, which we take to mean that the PAC has not made any political contributions since January 1. Some of the PAC’s largest donors have made individual contributions. The PAC has also endorsed far fewer state candidates this year than in recent years. It endorsed in just six House races, down from 39 in 2018.
The top fundraisers for the period were Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. ($446K), Rep. J.D. Sheffield ($204K), HD92 open seat candidate Jim Griffin ($188K), Rep. Geanie Morrison ($178K), HD60 open seat candidate Jon Francis ($174K), Rep. Jared Patterson ($171K), Rep. Tracy King ($168K), HD10 open seat candidate Jake Ellzey ($145K), Rep. Eddie Lucio III ($144K) and HD132 open seat candidate Angelica Garcia ($136K).
The top legislative spenders for the period were HD59 challenger Cody Johnson ($501K), Francis ($372K), Sen. Lucio ($335K), King ($233K), Sheffield ($224K), Rep. Gary Gates ($171K), HD134 Democratic candidate Ann Johnson ($155K), Rep. Lucio ($140K), SD19 open seat candidate Xochil Peña Rodriguez ($139K) and HD108 Democratic candidate Shawn Terry ($137K).
Our Crib Sheets have been updated for all reports available today (Tuesday). Highlights of the reports from the three-, four- and five-star rated primary races follows.
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