Statewide and legislative candidates facing general election opposition reported raising $47M and spending north of $72M during the monthlong period covered by the latest campaign finance reports. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke’s campaigns received 41% of those contributions and made 62% of those expenditures.
The candidates’ 8-day-out reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made between Sept. 30 and Oct. 29. They were due yesterday (Mon.) and became available online today (Tues.). Some remain unavailable, but they will add minimally to the totals reported above. Our Crib Sheets have been updated to show the latest numbers. We have also made our final adjustments to our race ratings, moving 30 races toward the Republicans based in part off these fundraising numbers.
Overall, contributions this period are down 14% compared to the same period in 2020, but the governor’s race and, to a much lesser extent, the LTGOV race skew the comparison. Excluding those two races, contributions are down 57% and expenditures are down 39% from two years ago. One factor is the governor’s race taking a lot of the oxygen out of the room, but the other driving force is a dramatic decrease in competitive House races after redistricting.
In 2020, House Republican candidates raised $27.3M and spent $11.7M during the period covered by their 8-day-out reports. This year, they raised $10.8M and spent $4.2M, representing decreases of 60% and 64%, respectively. House Democratic candidates raised $16.4M and spent $14.1M in 2020. This year, they raised $2.9M and spent $2.5M, declines of 82% from each figure in 2020.
Senate numbers are up slightly from 2020, but all 31 seats are on the ballot this year.
GOV (Likely R): O’Rourke out-raised Abbott, $10.5M to $8.8M, and outspent him, $24.4M to $20.8M. Both candidates largely emptied their gas tanks. O’Rourke has $4.25M on hand, edging out Abbott’s $3.77M. It is the smallest cash on hand figure Abbott has reported as an executive branch elected official, barely beneath the $3.78M he reported in July 2005. Candidates were not required to report cash on hand prior to that date.
O’Rourke has out-raised Abbott, $67.6M to $63.9M, for the calendar year, but Abbott has the advantage over the two-year election cycle, $101.5M to $76.6M. Abbott has raised $140.8M since the beginning of 2019, an amount exceeding the total he raised between January 2011 and December 2018 ($135.8M). As governor, Abbott has raised $218.2M, nearly double the amount raised by former Gov. Rick Perry (R) during his gubernatorial tenure (excluding his presidential campaign).
O’Rourke is closing in on the $79M he raised for his 2018 U.S. Senate campaign for the most ever raised by a Democratic candidate in Texas for a statewide race. Abbott’s total for this two-year cycle was already the most in state history. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) raised more than $90M during a two-year period for his presidential campaign, but that was a nationwide contest and thus we exclude it from statewide campaigns.
This year’s gubernatorial contest is the most expensive in state history. Combined, Abbott and O’Rourke have raised more than $178M during the 2021-22 election cycle, easily surpassing the $113M in combined contributions for the 2018 U.S. Senate race between O’Rourke and Cruz and more than doubling the combined contribution totals from the 2014 gubernatorial race between Abbott and former Sen. Wendy Davis ($88M) and the 2002 race between Perry and Tony Sanchez ($83M).
LTGOV (Lean R > Likely R): Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) out-raised Democratic challenger Mike Collier, $3.3M to $713K, and outspent him, $5.1M to $1.5M. Patrick still has more than $16.5M on hand, suggesting confidence in his polling margin. Collier has $128K on hand.
AG (Lean R): Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) out-raised Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza, $2.4M to $1.1M, and outspent her, $4.9M to $2.3M. Paxton has a 10-to-1 advantage in cash on hand, $2.9M to $285K.
Paxton disclosed a $750K loan from Defend Texas Liberty PAC but did not itemize any contributions. His five-page report includes this memo: “Totals are estimated and will be itemized.” His campaign has repeatedly failed to itemize contributions on reports by their respective due dates, and it appears to be the only campaign at the state or legislative level that experiences such regular difficulty with the filing system.
- He filed a corrected January semiannual report nearly two weeks after the due date to itemize more than $2.1M in contributions
- He filed a corrected 8-day-out report before the primary a day after it was due to itemize $913K in contributions. Three days later, he filed a corrected 8-day-out report to itemize an additional $1.8M in expenditures not previously reported (or included in the totals).
- He filed a corrected July semiannual report itemizing $341K in contributions and $1.3M in expenditures two days after it was due. He initially reported more than $3.6M in unitemized contributions and $5.4M in unitemized expenditures for the period.
Defend Texas Liberty PAC’s report indicates it contributed $300K to Paxton’s campaign during the period covered by the 8-day-out reports. This is in addition to the $750K loan Paxton’s report disclosed.
LAND open (Likely R): Jay Kleberg (D) out-raised Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway), $626K to $581K, and outspent her, $1.4M to $696K. Buckingham has a $501K to $127K advantage in cash on hand.
RRC (Likely R): Democratic challenger Luke Warford out-raised Comm. Wayne Christian (R), $202K to $88K, and outspent him, $309K to $21K. Christian holds a $312K to $206K advantage in cash on hand but appears content to let political affiliation guide his electoral success.
SD27 open (Lean D > Toss Up): Republican Adam Hinojosa out-raised Democrat Morgan LaMantia, $662K to $136K. He was outspent, $630K to $218K, but $530K of his contributions were in kind. Hinojosa’s largest contributors for the period were Associated Republicans of Texas PAC ($229K), Houston Regional Business Coalition ($200K), Protect and Serve PAC ($51K), Dallas hotelier Monty Bennett ($50K) and Texans for Responsible Government PAC ($50K). LaMantia’s largest contributors were Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC ($42K) and Texas Trial Lawyers Assoc. PAC ($25K). LaMantia added $550K to her loan balance, which stands at just over $5M.
HD34 (Lean D > Toss Up): Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Robstown) out-raised Carolyn Vaughn, $124K to $56K, but was narrowly outspent by the challenger, $147K to $142K. She has narrowly outspent the incumbent, $287K to $276K, since July 1.
HD35 (Likely D > Lean D): Rep. Oscar Longoria (D-Mission) out-raised challenger Oscar Rosa, $91K to $60K, but was outspent, $103K to $62K. Longoria has $308K on hand – a high figure for an incumbent in a potentially competitive race.
HD37 open (Toss Up > Lean R): Republican Janie Lopez out-raised Democrat Luis Villarreal Jr., $735K to $57K. Her campaign outspent his, $67K to $54K, and $644K on her contributions were in kind. Lopez’s largest contributors were Associated Republicans of Texas PAC ($304K), Republican State Leadership Committee Grassroots Account ($150K), Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC ($90K), Texans for Responsible Government PAC ($50K), Protect and Serve Texas PAC ($38K), Texas House Republican Caucus PAC ($20K) and House Speaker Dade Phelan’s campaign ($10K).
HD52 open (Lean R > Likely R): Republican Caroline Harris out-raised Luis Echegaray (D), $601K to $8K, and outspent him, $127K to $7K. She has a $146K to $9K advantage in cash on hand.
HD61 open (Likely R): Republican Frederick Frazier out-raised Sheena King (D), $189K to $24K, and outspent her, $89K to $21K, suggesting recent media stories raising questions about his job performance as a police officer have had no impact on the race.
HD63 open (Lean R > Likely R): Republican Ben Bumgarner out-raised Denise Wooten (D), $218K to $5K, and outspent her, $54K to $3K.
HD70 open (Lean D > Toss Up): Republican Jamee Jolly out-raised Mihaela Plesa (D), $1.4M to $221K. Plesa nominally outspent Jolly, $120K to $80K, but more than $1.2M of Jolly’s contributions were in kind. Jolly’s leading contributors for the period were Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC ($331K), Associated Republicans of Texas PAC ($325K), Republican State Leadership Committee Grassroots Account ($253K), Speaker Dade Phelan’s campaign ($242K), Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC ($75K), Protect and Serve Texas PAC ($43K), Texans for Responsible Government PAC ($40K) and Texas House Republican Caucus ($20K).
HD74 (Toss Up > Lean R): Republican challenger Katherine Parker out-raised Rep. Eddie Morales Jr. (D-Eagle Pass), $669K to $65K. Morales outspent her, $68K to $33K, but $637K of her contributions were in kind. Parker’s top contributors were Associated Republicans of Texas PAC ($302K), Republican State Leadership Committee Grassroots Account ($235K) and Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC ($115K).
HD112 (Lean R > Likely R): Rep. Angie Chen Button (R-Garland) out-raised Democratic challenger Elva Curl, $427K to $77K, and outspent her, $452K to $81K.
HD118 (Toss Up > Lean R): Rep. John Lujan (R-San Antonio) out-raised Democratic challenger Frank Ramirez, $1.2M to $239K, and nominally outspent him, $140K to $126K. More than $970K of Lujan’s contributions were in kind.
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