Lisa Luby Ryan is one of three state Republican primary challengers to out-raise their respective House incumbents during the last half of 2017. She is the only one to have collected more campaign contributions than the incumbent for the election cycle to date.

Ryan out-raised Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas), $218K to $155K, for the period covered by January semiannual reports, and she has an overall advantage of $218K to $181K.

There’s another candidate in the race who has also raised more to date than Villalba: Democrat John Turner. Overall, he has raised $238K, more than either of the Republicans. The Dallas attorney and son of former U.S. Rep. Jim Turner (D-Crockett) raised $131K during the last half of 2017, the second most of any non-incumbent Democratic candidate for the House (Julie Johnson, who is challenging Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving), raised $205K.). However, unlike Villalba and Ryan, Turner has no primary opponent.

Both Ryan ($213K) and Turner ($160K) have more cash on hand than Villalba ($60K). Ryan ($50K) and Turner ($7K) have low loan balances relative to their contributions, and Villalba has no loan balance.

Dallas is the largest source of campaign contributions, accounting for 58% of all funds raised by the three candidates. Both Ryan ($165K) and Turner ($111K) have raised more money from Dallas-based donors than Villalba ($96K), and they have out-raised the incumbent in zip codes wholly or partially within the district:

  • Ryan has raised $81K, comprising 37% of her total donations.
  • Turner has raised $65K, comprising 27% of his total; and
  • Villalba has raised $44K, comprising 25% of his total for the election cycle.

The challengers have also received more donations from individuals in district zip codes – Ryan has 130 and Turner 78 – than Villalba, who has received 65 such donations.

Villalba’s fundraising to date is about 20% behind his 2016 pace, when Villalba faced a primary challenge from attorney Dan Morenoff. As of this time in that election cycle, Villalba has raised $227K, well ahead of his opponent’s $50K. Villalba would go on to out-raise Morenoff, $177K to $73K, and outspend him, $196K to $55K, for the primary. District zip codes represented about 28% of Villalba’s and 20% of Morenoff’s contributions as of 30 days before the primary. Consistent with this year’s results, Villalba had fewer individuals (42) from district zip codes contributing to him than his opponent (60).

Movement conservative groups invested less in Morenoff than other 2016 primary challengers they endorsed. As of the end of the period covered by 30-day-out reports, Morenoff had received contributions from Empower Texans PAC ($17K), Texas Home School Coalition PAC ($5K) and Constituent Focus PAC ($2K). He would receive another $34K from those three PACs leading up to the primary, amounts that generally paled to these groups’ support of other primary challengers (Empower Texans PAC by itself gave over $1M to Republican candidates, mostly challengers, during the final weeks before the primary.). Villalba prevailed, 55%-45%. He went on to win the general election, 56%-41%, over a Democrat who raised a total of $5K and a Libertarian who received no contributions.

Ryan has not received large contributions from these movement conservative groups so far. Empower Texans PAC and Texas Right to Life PAC have each given her campaign $10K.

Rep. Villalba

Rep. Jason Villalba

Serving third term

Largest Contributors

$17,500 – Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC

$12,500 – Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC

$8,914 – Texas Medical Assoc. TEXPAC

$8,546 – Leland Burk

$5,000 – AT&T Texas PAC, Drew Campbell, Dallas Police Officers PAC, Thomas Feulmer, HeartPlace PAC, Al Hil Jr., Metropolitan Anesthesia PAC

$4,500 – Barry Andrews

$4,000 – Richard Rogers Civic Action Fund

$3,300 – Associated Republicans of Texas

$3,000 – USAA Employees PAC

$2,500 – Apartment Assoc. of Greater Dallas PAC, Dallas Firefighters Assoc. PAC, Jack Pratt, Robert Rowling, Sheldon Stein, Texas Land Title Assoc. PAC, Texas Society of Anesthesiologists PAC


Lisa Luby Ryan

Home furnishings boutique owner

Largest Contributors

$35,000 ­– George Ryan

$15,000 – Frank Peterman

$10,000 – Empower Texans PAC, Thornwell Parker III, Stacy Rawlings, Texas Right to Life PAC

$7,500 – Jonathon Frank

$5,000 – Roy Coffee, Lucy Johnson, Michael McVean, Norman Miller, Lee Roy Mitchell, Daniel Nelson, Michelle Brooke Parker, Laura Shoppa, Catherine Taylor, Susie Wilson

$2,500 – Anne Amis. Jeff Ballard, Stan Graff, Catherine Lundberg


John Turner


Largest Contributors

$26,199 – Former U.S. Rep. Jim (D-Crockett) and Ginny Turner

$20,000 – Jorge Baldor

$17,500 – Lone Star Project

$7,742 – Debby and Webb Spradley

$7,076 – Thomas Leatherbury

$5,000 – Barry Barnett, Bill and Catherine Carmody, Haynes and Boone PAC, Pete Marketos, Mazin Sbaiti

$3,500 – Thomas Weber, Sharon Young

$2,500 – Stacy Brainin, Warren Burns, Evan Goldberg, Joseph Grinstein, Roger Knight Jr., Neal Manne, David McCombs, Barry McNeil, Nancy Nasher, Shawn Rabin, Mary Sammons, Michelle Taft, Danny Yoo

Her top three donors – George Ryan ($35K), Frank Peterman ($15K) and one of her four $10K donors – represented 27% of her total contributions. Villalba’s top three donors – Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC ($18K), Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC ($13K) and Texas Medical Assoc. TEXPAC ($9K) – accounted for 22% of his total contributions. Turner’s top three donors – his parents ($26K), Jorge Baldor ($20K) and Lone Star Project ($18K) – provided 27% of his total contributions.

About 22% of Turner’s contributions came from out of state, a considerably higher percentage than for Villalba (3%) and Ryan (<1%).

The Republican candidates’ next campaign finance reports are due February 5.

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC