Campaign Finance: Today was the deadline for state officeholders and candidates – and local candidates where required – to file their July semiannual campaign finance reports. A number of those reports’ totals were available online this evening, but several key race reports were still unavailable. We will have a complete rundown of key races tomorrow in one or more “breaking news” alerts. In the mean time, our Crib Sheets have been updated with the latest numbers available.
GOV: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) raised more than $10.9M for the period, spent $22.0M and has $28.9M on hand. Abbott’s $10.9M in contributions is the fifth highest ever reported by a gubernatorial candidate, trailing only his January 2014 ($11.6M) and July 2014 ($11.1M) semiannual reports and a pair of reports filed by 2002 Democratic nominee Tony Sanchez, who contributed $56.6M to his own campaign.
The report for Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez was not yet available.
His $28.9M war chest is his smallest in two years, and it is nearly $6.7M less than this time four years ago. However, one reason for the smaller cash-on-hand figure is a $16.2M expenditure on advertising made on June 27. Had that expenditure occurred a week later, Abbott would have broken his own record for the highest cash-on-hand figure ever reported by a Texas state candidate.
Abbott once again has more cash on hand than the entire U.S. House delegation that is seeking re-election. The 27 incumbents seeking re-election have $27.0M on hand combined.
Abbott has raised $154.9M since March 1995. He is the most prolific fundraiser in state history, surpassing former Gov. Rick Perry (R), who raised $132.9M between July 1993 – the earliest time detailed campaign finance reports are still available online – and December 2014.
LTGOV: The Mike Collier (D) campaign said he raised $265K between the primary election and June 30. He will report having $60K on hand. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s (R) campaign previously announced he raised $4.5M during the same period and has nearly $14M on hand.
SD19: Early voting has begun for the special election to fill the unexpired term of former Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio). In Bexar Co., a total of 376 people voted in person at one of 10 early vote locations. That’s about a fourth the number who voted early in person during the first day of the SD26 and HD123 special elections in December 2014. SD26 has not quite twice as many Bexar Co. registered voters as SD19.
Meanwhile, the campaign of Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) released a new ad, “No to Gallego,” which points out that voters “fired” Gallego from Congress.
Austin: District judge Orlinda Naranjo ordered a citizen petition regarding a sweeping zoning code rewrite to appear on the November ballot. The city council previously rejected the petition. Attorneys for the city argued that an election on CodeNext would violate state law. Naranjo did not rule on that point, instead determining that it was premature to make such a declaration because the code is, and may remain, in draft form.
Meanwhile, Mayor Steve Adler out-raised former council member Laura Morrison, $292K to $92K, during the first half of 2018. Adler has a $288K to $76K advantage in cash on hand.
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