Gov. Greg Abbott (R) reported more cash on hand ($38.2M) than all of the Republican legislative incumbents and candidates on the 2020 general election ballot combined ($32.1M) and all of the Republican congressional incumbents and candidates on the 2020 general election ballot combined ($33.8M).

Republican officeholders and candidates greatly out-raised their Democratic rivals, $23.3M to $9.2M, for the period, but 57% of contributions going to Republicans went to officeholders not up for re-election in 2020, led by Abbott’s $7.7M. Republicans have an even greater advantage in cash on hand (COH), $111.1M to $22M, but that advantage shrinks to $32.1M to $12.4M when you take away the offices not on the ballot this year.

Abbott raised $7.7M during the first half of 2020, nearly matching his total during the last half of 2019. His $38.1M war chest is the fifth largest ever reported, trailing only his own totals over $40M reported between July 2017 and February 2018. As governor, he has raised $105M for his campaign account, and he now trails former Gov. Rick Perry (R) by just $5.2M for the all-time record for a Texas governor. Perry took nearly 11 years to raise $100M as governor. Abbott has reached that milestone in half that time. Overall, as governor, attorney general and a Supreme Court justice, Abbott has raised $194M for his campaigns, nearly $62M more than Perry, the previous record-holder, raised from 1993 to 2014.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) raised nearly $2.7M and reporting having $15.5M on hand. He has raised at least $2M in 13 straight six-month periods going back to January 2014. He has raised $38M since becoming lieutenant governor in January 2015. Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) raised $1.2M and has $5.4M on hand. Comptroller Glenn Hegar (R) raised less than $100K but has $7.2M on hand.

The fundraising period covered by July semiannual reports varies based on whether a candidate had a contested primary or was involved in a special election. For candidates unopposed in the primary, these reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made during the first six months of 2020. For candidates who faced primary opposition, the period begins in late February.

Legislative Highlights

Turning our attention to candidates actually on the ballot this year, and leaving aside Rep. Gary Gates (R-Rosenberg) and Eliz Markowitz, who were in a special runoff election earlier this year, eight incumbents and candidates raised at least $200K for the period covered by the July semiannual report:

  • Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasnton) – $296K
  • Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) – $293K
  • HD134 Democratic challenger Ann Johnson – $268K
  • Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) – $248K
  • HD113 Republican challenger Will Douglas – $241K
  • Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) – $226K
  • HD66 Democratic challenger Sharon Hirsch – $219K; and
  • HD92 open Democratic nominee Jeff Whitfield – $201K.

Of the incumbents and candidates who raised between $100K and $200K for the period, 16 were Democrats (including 6 challengers) and eight were Republicans (including one challenger).

As we did with the federal races yesterday (Wednesday), we’ll focus today on cash on hand (COH). Not everybody enters the general election sprint from the same starting line.

SD19: Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) has a huge cash advantage over Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), who spent more than $500K to win his party’s nomination in a runoff. Flores has $563K on hand to Gutierrez’s $11K.

HD45: Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) has a $101K to $24K COH advantage over Carrie Isaac, who has narrowly out-raised the incumbent over the election cycle, $316K to $286K.

HD47: Rep. Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin) has $170K on hand, well ahead of Justin Berry, who had $8K on hand after his runoff victory. The challenger has out-raised Goodwin, $303K to $274K, for the cycle.

HD65: Rep. Michelle Beckley’s (D-Carrollton) $49K on hand is the lowest COH total for any incumbent Democrat in what we consider to be a competitive race. Challenger Kronda Thimesch has $88K on hand, and she out-raised Beckley, $88K to $64K, for the period and for the election cycle, $215K to $177K.

HD92 open: Democratic nominee Jeff Whitfield reported having $188K on hand after raising $201K for the period. Republican nominee Jeff Cason’s report was not yet available online.

HD93: Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) holds a $590K to $107K COH advantage over challenger Lydia Bean. For the fundraising period, Bean kept pace with the incumbent, who narrowly out-raised her, $128K to $118K.

HD94: Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) has $71K on hand after raising just $16K for the period, the lowest contribution total for any incumbent in a seat we are considering competitive. He had no primary opponent, so his report covers the first six months of the year. Challenger Alisa Simmons raised $62K and has $38K on hand.

HD96 open: Republican nominee David Cook holds a $289K to $109K COH advantage over challenger Joe Drago despite being out-raised by Drago, $132K to $55K.

HD97: Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) has an $887K to $163K COH advantage iover challenger Elizabeth Beck, and he out-raised her, $293K to $163K, for the period.

HD102: Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos (D-Dallas) and former Rep. Linda Koop (R-Dallas) are essentially tied in COH with around $50K each. Koop narrowly out-raised Ramos for the period, $89K to $73K.

HD108: Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) has a better than 4-to-1 COH advantage over challenger Joanna Cattanach, $518K to $122K. He out-raised her, $248K to $181K for the period.

HD112: Rep. Angie Chen Button (R-Garland) has a $600 COH advantage over challenger Brandy Chambers, $757K to $157K, but was out-raised by the Democrat, $169K to $78K.

HD113: Challenger Will Douglas has a nearly $200K COH advantage over Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-Rowlett), $266K to $68K, and he out-raised the incumbent for the period, $241K to $96K, and for the cycle, $344K to $139K.

HD114: Rep. John Turner (D-Dallas) has a $426K to $255K COH advantage over Luisa Del Rosal, and he out-raised her for the period, $157K to $121K. She has out-raised the incumbent, $474K to $444K, for the cycle.

HD121: Rep. Steve Allison (R-San Antonio) has a $113K to $61K COH advantage over Celina Montoya, but the challenger out-raised him for the period, $91K to $73K.

HD126: Rep. Sam Harless (R-Spring) has a nearly 2-to-1 COH advantage over Natali Hurtado, $124K to $67K, but the challenger out-raised him, $121K to $29K, for the period. She has out-raised the incumbent for the cycle, $154K to $107K.

HD132: Rep. Gina Calanni (D-Katy) has a $100K to $53K COH advantage over former Rep. Mike Schofield (R-Katy) and out-raised him for the period, $92K to $63K, and for the cycle, $183K to $128K.

HD134: Challenger Ann Johnson has a narrow $194K to $170K COH advantage over Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) after doubling up on fundraising for the period, $268K to $133K. Johnson has out-raised the incumbent, $510K to $248K, for the cycle.

HD135: Rep. Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston) has a narrow edge in COH over Justin Ray, $87K to $61K, and out-raised the challenger for the period, $130K to $64K.

HD138 open: Democratic runoff winner Akilah Bacy has a slight edge in COH over Republican Lacey Hull, $26K to $21K, after out-raising Hull for the period, $76K to $25K.

©2020 Texas Election Source LLC