July semiannual and July quarterly campaign finance reports are due tomorrow (Fri.) for state and federal candidates and officeholders, respectively. The federal reports will become available in real time on Friday, and the state reports are expected to become available online on Saturday. We will update our Crib Sheets over the weekend.

The beginning of the fundraising period depends on whether the candidate had a contested primary or participated in the runoff. The period ended June 30 for all candidates.

Democratic Convention: The party’s state convention kicked off today (Thurs.) at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

Harris County: County Judge Lina Hidalgo (D) leads Republican challenger Alexandra del Moral Mealer, 48%-47%, among likely voters, according to a new Univ. of Houston/Hobby School of Public Affairs poll. The challenger’s lead grows to 50%-46% among “almost certain voters.” Importantly, del Moral Mealer leads Hidalgo among Hispanic/Latino likely voters, 47%-44%. Hidalgo is polling behind Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, who leads Gov. Greg Abbott (R), 51%-42%, among the county’s likely voters.

Del Moral Mealer is in a statistical dead heat with Hidalgo despite the fact that half of voters “don’t know enough” about her to have an opinion about her. Her favorability rating is 34/17, compared to Hidalgo’s 49/42. Del Moral Mealer’s net rating (+17) is the highest of any county official or candidate polled.

The margin of error for the Harris Co. results is ±5.7%, well above the poll’s statewide margin of error.

Austin: Former Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) raised just under $1M for his mayoral campaign. It is unclear if that figure includes any contributions or loans from Watson. The former mayor faces Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin), former council candidate Jennifer Virden and several other announced candidates. Term-limited council member Kathie Tovo is considering the race. Mayor Steve Adler is term-limited.

Houston: At least three candidates to succeed term-limited Mayor Sylvester Turner have already raised at least $750K each for the campaign, and that doesn’t count Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston). Former Harris Co. Clerk Chris Hollins (R) has raised $1.1M, attorney Lee Kaplan has raised $800K (plus $100K of his own money) and former council member Amanda Edwards has raised $780K.

Whitmire’s latest campaign finance report is due tomorrow. He had $11M on hand as of late February. Much of that contribution total cannot be used for a mayoral race, but a significant amount of it – $5K from each contributor – can be transferred toward a mayoral account. Turner began his mayoral candidacy in 2015 by transferring around $900K from his state account.

The election is in November 2023.

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