The governor’s race towers above all others when it comes to raising and spending money this election season. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and challenger Beto O’Rourke (D) accounted for a staggering 70% of all contributions received and 76% of all expenditures made by statewide and legislative candidates facing general election opposition. Adding Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and his challenger Mike Collier (D) to those totals brings them to 75% and 88%, respectively.

Legislative candidates facing opposition accounted for less than $1 out of every $6 raised and $1 out of every $20 spent between July 1 and September 29.

Statewide and legislative candidates who are contested in the general election were required to file their 30-day-out campaign finance reports yesterday (Tues.). Overall, those candidates reported raising $72M and spending $111M. Those figures do not include any contributions given to or expenditures made by uncontested candidates, and several candidates’ reports were not yet available.

Republicans raised $38.0M and spent nearly $71.7M, while Democrats raised nearly $33.6M and spent $38.9M.

As a group, Democratic statewide candidates raised $29.7M, nearly as much as the Republican incumbents and candidates’ $30.7M total, but the Republican nearly doubled the Democrats’ spending, $67.5M to $34.0M. Republican legislative candidates out-raised the Democrats, $7.3M to $3.9M. Democratic legislative candidates, buoyed by Senate candidate Morgan LaMantia, outspent the Republicans, $4.9M to $4.2M.

Our Crib Sheets are fully updated with the latest numbers.

GOV (Likely R): Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke narrowly out-raised Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for the second consecutive reporting period. O’Rourke raised $25.2M, barely eclipsing Abbott’s $24.9M haul. For the calendar year, O’Rourke has out-raised Abbott, $57.1M to $55.1M, but Abbott holds an overall $92.7M to $66.1M advantage over the election cycle.

Abbott outspent O’Rourke, $52.5M to $31.6M, for the period. So far this year, Abbott has doubled up O’Rourke’s spending, $82.5M to $41.1M. Over the two-year election cycle, Abbott has outspent O’Rourke, $115M to $48M.

For the first time this cycle, O’Rourke has an advantage in cash on hand over Abbott, albeit a miniscule one. O’Rourke reported having $16.5M on hand as of September 29, barely above Abbott’s $16.4M figure. It is the first time Abbott has reported less cash on hand than his opponent or presumptive opponent since candidates were first required to report it in 2005, and it is the smallest cash on hand figure Abbott has reported since January 2015.

Abbott’s campaign by itself accounted for 65% of total contributions received by contested Republican candidates and 73% of their spending. O’Rourke’s campaign by itself accounted for 75% of total contributions received by contested Democratic candidates and 81% of their spending.

So far, O’Rourke has raised $66.1M for his gubernatorial campaign. During the 2017-18 election cycle, he raised a total of $79.1M for his unsuccessful challenge of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R). That figure exceeded Abbott’s $44.3M in contributions during the same two-year period for his re-election campaign against Lupe Valdez (D). During that two-year period, O’Rourke spent $71.6M – nearly $30M more than Cruz – and Abbott spent $61.2M, which was nearly $60M more than Valdez.

LTGOV (Lean R): Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) out-raised Democratic challenger Mike Collier, $2.3M to $1.4M, and outspent him nearly 12-to-1 ($12.4M to $1.0M). Over the election cycle, Patrick has out-raised Collier, $16.5M to $4.3M, and outspent him, $19.3M to $3.4M. Patrick has $16.8M on hand – more than either Abbott or O’Rourke – to dwarf Collier’s $923K war chest. Patrick has more than double the cash on hand as for the same period in 2018.

AG (Lean R): Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) out-raised Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza, $2.1M to $1.6M, and outspent her, $808K to $475K. He has a $4.9M to $1.5M advantage in cash on hand. For the election cycle, Paxton has out-raised Garza, $10.3M to $2.7M.

Other Statewides (Likely R): Democrats running for three statewide executive offices out-raised the Republican incumbents or candidates:

  • LAND: Jay Kleberg out-raised Sen. Dawn Buckingham, $878K to $565K
  • AGRIC: Susan Hays out-raised Comm. Sid Miller, $112K to $48K; and
  • RRC: Luke Warford out-raised Comm. Wayne Christian, $379K to $125K.

Both Democratic challengers for the Court of Criminal Appeals out-raised the Republican incumbents, but the total amount raised by all four of them was under $35K.

All three Supreme Court incumbents out-raised their Democratic challengers, as did Comp. Glenn Hegar (R), who now as $8.5M on hand.

SD27 open (Lean D): Republican Adam Hinojosa out-raised Democratic nominee Morgan LaMantia, $185K to $141K, for the period, but she outspent him, $1.3M to $79K. LaMantia added an additional $1.5M in loans, bringing her total loan balance to nearly $4.5M. She has a $185K to $48K advantage in cash on hand.

If one were to exclude this race from the totals, the remaining Senators and Senate candidates in contested races raised a combined total of $2.2M and spent $2.4M.

HD34 (Lean D): Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Robstown) out-raised Carolyn Vaughn, $138K to $46K, but was narrowly outspent by the challenger, $140K to $134K. Herrero holds a $198K to $84K cash on hand advantage.

HD37 open (Toss Up): Republican nominee Janie Lopez out-raised Democratic rival Luis Villarreal Jr. by a nearly 11-to-1 margin, $441K to $40K, but he narrowly outspent her, $40K to $35K. Because of this large fundraising gap this period, we have changed the rating of this race to Toss Up from Lean D.

HD52 open (Lean R): Republican Caroline Harris out-raised Luis Echegaray (D), $114K to $7K, and outspent him, $38K to $9K. She holds a $46K to $8K cash on hand advantage.

HD70 open (Lean D): Republican nominee Jamee Jolly out-raised Democratic rival Mihaela Plesa, $412K to $202K, and narrowly outspent her, $104K to $96K. Plesa holds an $82K to $39K advantage in cash on hand. Jolly’s largest contributors for the period were Speaker Dade Phelan’s campaign ($135K), Associated Republicans of Texas PAC ($95K), Republican State Leadership Cmte. Grassroots PAC ($71K), Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC ($25K), Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC ($15K) and Texas Medical Assoc. TEXPAC ($12.5K). Plesa’s largest contributors were Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee PAC ($37K), Lone Star Project ($15K), Fair Shot Texas PAC ($10K), AFSCME People PAC ($10K) and Plano accountant Mary Hayden ($10K)

HD74 (Toss Up): Rep. Eddie Morales Jr. (D-Eagle Pass) narrowly out-raised Republican challenger Kathleen Parker, $86K to $81K, but she narrowly outspent him, $43K to $37K. The incumbent holds a $137K to $31K cash on hand advantage.

HD118 (Toss Up): Rep. John Lujan (R-San Antonio) raised $582K and spent $14K. He has $111K on hand. Democratic challenger Frank Ramirez’s report was not yet available.

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