Early voting for the May 24 primary runoff election continues through Friday.

Through yesterday (Tues.), the second day of early voting, a total of 193K people had voted in the Republican primary in person (68%) or by mail (32%) and 129K people had voted in the Democratic primary in person (49%) or by mail (51%). Combined turnout through two days was 1.87% of registered voters.

In the 15 counties with the most registered voters, Republican turnout is just shy of the 2014 pace and well ahead of 2016, the last year that a statewide runoff occurred.

In those counties, Democratic turnout is roughly the same as in 2018 at this point in early voting but well below the 2020 U.S. Senate runoff. Bexar Co. is currently setting a record pace with nearly 18K early voters so far, likely a product of the county judge runoff.

Campaign Finance

Runoff reports were due Monday from state candidates in contested runoff elections. These reports typically become available the day after they are filed. Several reports, including those highlighted below, did not become available until today (Wed.).

AG (Lean R): Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) raised $2.0M and spent $2.6M between February 19 and May 14. Both figures were a little below those reported by George P. Bush (R), who raised $2.3M and spent $2.8M. Paxton holds a $4.4M to $731K advantage in cash on hand.

Paxton’s largest contributors for the period were Cisco-based THRC Holdings LP ($200K), Defend Texas Liberty PAC ($100K), Houston tech executive Holloway Frost ($75K), Dallas oil executive Brad Cox ($57K), Dallas hotelier Monty Bennett ($50K), Farmers Branch real estate developer Mehrdad Moayedi ($50K), Dallas investor Robert Rowling ($50K), Midland investor Douglas Scharbauer ($50K), Midland oil and gas executive Kyle Stallings ($50K), Texans for Responsible Government PAC ($50K) and Texas Farm Bureau AGFUND ($30K). His top contributor is connected to the Wilks brothers.

HD52 (Lean R): Caroline Harris (R) raised $252K and spent $304K during the period. Her opponent Pat McGuinness (R) raised $13K and spent $233K. Harris’s largest contributors included Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC ($100K), Speaker Dade Phelan’s campaign ($58K), Texans for Responsible Government PAC ($10K), Texas Right to Life PAC ($10K) and Texas Sands PAC ($10K).

HD60 (Safe R): Mike Olcott (R) raised $186K and spent $302K, both figures trailing Rep. Glenn Rogers (R-Graford), who raised $751K and spent $523K. Olcott’s largest contributors were Cisco homemaker Jo Ann Wilks ($75K), Gordon retiree Guy Mabee ($51K) and former Sen. Don Huffines ($20K).

Campaign News

AG (Lean R): The George P. Bush (R) campaign released four new ads including “Officers,” which features a Kaufman Co. constable narrating the “clear choice” for voters.

Paxton released a list of endorsements from just over half of the State Republican Executive Committee members, some of whom may have endorsed him previously.

HD70 open (Toss Up): The Texas Assoc. of Realtors released a new ad, “We Need Trusted Leadership,” contrasting Jamee Jolly’s (R) endorsements with Eric Bowlin’s (R) comments on a 2020 real estate podcast about tax havens and collecting rent.

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