Austin attorney and lobbyist Trey Blocker confirmed he would challenge Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller (R) in the Republican primary. Blocker initially indicated he would run if Miller was tapped for a role in the Trump administration.

Blocker established a campaign committee in July, and his semiannual campaign finance report indicated he had $750K on hand, all from a loan he made to his campaign. Miller reported having $514K on hand after raising $157K during the last few days of June (More than half of that amount was for use of a motor home for eight months.). Blocker is the only announced statewide challenger to report more cash on hand than the incumbent.

Trey Blocker

Trey
Blocker

Comm. Sid Miller

Comm. Sid
Miller

The candidates have already traded verbal jabs.

“I’m running because we need to bring honestly, integrity and fiscal responsibility back to the Department of Agriculture,” Blocker said in a video posted to his campaign’s web site. “We’ve watched a career politician, embroiled in ethical controversies, raise taxes and grow government at a level that would make Bernie Sanders proud.”

On social media, Miller welcomed Blocker to the race. “I’m not surprised he filed, but honestly, I’m shocked he is running as a Republican,” Miller said in a Facebook post, citing Blocker’s contributions to Democrats. “I guess that’s what you do when you’re a low-level lobbyist mired in the Capitol swamp.”

Since 2008, Democratic officeholders and candidates have reported a little over $8K in contributions from Blocker. In the same period, he gave to $59K to Republicans.

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.

©2017 Texas Election Source LLC