Today (Tuesday) was the last day of the campaign finance period for federal candidates and officeholders. April quarterly reports will disclose contributions received and expenditures made between February 13 and March 31 for most filers. Reports for Officeholders not on the ballot this year will include the entire first quarter. Reports must be filed by July 15.

Because of the primary election and the relatively late onset of COVID-19, we expect most candidates’ reports to demonstrate typical fundraising results. We expect the July quarterly reports to show a significant downturn in contributions, especially from small and medium-sized donors, as economic uncertainty and a lack of public campaigning (read: fundraisers) cut into fundraising efforts.

The postponement of the runoff elections to July 14 has created an odd filing schedule for those candidates. Their runoff reports will be due prior to their July semiannual reports and the days covered by them will be greater. Runoff reports are due July 6 and include contributions received and expenditures made between February 23 and July 4. For all other candidates, their July semiannual reports are due July 15 and cover the period running from either January 1 (no primary opponent) or February 23 (contested primary) through June 30. We also expect to see significant downturns in fundraising in these reports, including for those candidates in runoffs.

We anticipate self-funded candidates will have strong fundraising advantages in the coming months leading up to primary runoff elections for some and the general election for the rest.

Local Elections: The city and Waco ISD have postponed their May 2 general elections to November 3 though it is exploring the possibility of holding it on July 14, the date of the primary runoff elections. The move comes one week after Mayor Kyle Deaver said he thought the May 2 elections could be conducted safely and pressed McLennan Co. election officials to go forward with administering the elections.

Amarillo postponed a bond election until November. Several other municipalities and school boards have not yet taken up the matter, in part because of their less frequent meeting schedule than the larger cities.

Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) executive order to minimize social gatherings and in-person contact statewide and to close schools until through May 3 could effectively undermine any cities or local governments still seeking to hold elections in May. Abbott lacked the authority to postpone local elections and instead signed an executive order permitting local governments to move their elections to November.

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