State candidates in contested races raised nearly $53.5M during the past month, of which $39.3M went to candidates in competitive state House races (We cover the House in detail here.). Our Crib Sheets have been fully updated. Candidates with general election opponents were required to file their 8-day-out campaign finance reports yesterday (Monday). These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made from September 25 to October 24.

RRC (Lean Republican): Democratic nominee Chrysta Castañeda out-raised Republican Jim Wright, $3.7M to $690K, and outspent him, $3.1M to $378K. About 70% of Castañeda’s total came from former New York City Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.

Supreme Court (Lean Republican): All four incumbent justices raised significantly more than their Democratic challengers:

  • Chief Justice Nathan Hecht $818K, Amy Clark Meachum $44K
  • Justice Brent Busby $991K, Gisela Triana $58K
  • Justice Jane Bland $464K, Kathy Cheng $20K; and
  • Justice Jeff Boyd $233K, Staci Williams $86K.

Collectively, the incumbents have raised $4.9M so far this election cycle.

SD19 (Lean Democratic): Sen. Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) out-raised Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) almost 6-to-1. Flores raised $1.5M to Gutierrez’s $260K, and Flores outspent his opponent, $1.3M to $176K.

Flores’s largest contributors were Texans for Lawsuit Reform ($520K), Republican Party of Texas ($312K), Republican State Leadership Committee ($100K), Greg Abbott’s campaign ($80K), Texas Charter Schools Now PAC ($66K), Texas Leads PAC ($25K), Dallas investor Harlan Crow ($25K), Baytown auto dealer Roger Elswick ($25K), Fort Worth auto dealer Michael Hernandez ($25K) and Michael Porter Family Trust ($25K). Gutierrez’s largest contributors were Texans for Insurance Reform PAC ($100K), Charles Butt Public Education PAC ($25K) and Texas Trial Lawyers Assoc. PAC ($25K).

Early Voting continues through Friday. Through yesterday, the first-ever 14th day of early voting, 7.8M Texans – 46% of registered voters – have cast ballots statewide. That’s a little over 1.1M away from the total votes cast for the presidential candidates in 2016 including Election Day.

The percentage of the electorate that has no recent voting history continues to climb, now accounting for 15% of all ballots cast, according to Republican strategist Derek Ryan’s latest analysis. Primary voters comprise 57% of votes cast so far in the 30 counties with the most registered voters, while general election-only voters (28%) and “new” voters represent 43% of turnout so far.

Absentee Ballot Drop-offs: The Texas Supreme Court upheld Gov. Greg Abbott’s order permitting counties to offer a single location where voters may return absentee ballots in person.

Current law permits voters to return absentee ballots on Election Day to a single location within each county. In July, Abbott ordered counties to accept absentee ballots delivered in person on Election Day and for 40 days prior.

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