Freshman Rep. Rick Galindo (R-San Antonio) faces a rematch against former one-term Rep. Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) in HD118, one of five Republican-held House seats where Democrats have the historical advantage in straight-ticket voting in presidential election years. As he did in 2014, Cortez entered the campaign’s final weeks with the financial advantage over Galindo, but Galindo, now an incumbent, has closed the gap.
Cortez narrowly out-raised Galindo, $107K to $101K, from July 1 to September 29, the period covered by recently filed 30-day-out reports. Cortez has out-raised Galindo, $224K to $168K, for the 2015-16 election cycle.
Galindo has a slight edge in cash on hand, and each candidate has spent just over $130K for the election cycle. Galindo outspent Cortez, $62K to $30K, during the most recent period.
Neither candidate had a primary opponent. The only other candidate in the race is San Antonio real estate agent San Carlos Antonio Raymond, a write-in option whose website uses at least four combinations of his names.
Compared to 2014, Galindo has raised about $74K more and Cortez has raised about $23K more for the election cycle to the corresponding point in time. Both candidates raised more during the 30-day-out period this year than in 2014. The candidates combined to raise another $360K before Election Day in 2014, with the then-challenger having the advantage, $216K to $144K.
30-day-out Campaign Finance Report Summary
Cash on Hand
- $40,267 38% 38%
- $34,778 33% 33%
- $101,487 95% 95%
- $106,840 100% 100%
- $62,250 58% 58%
- $29,873 28% 28%
As they did in 2014, contributors from Austin have provided a majority of all funds given to the candidates. More than 70% of Galindo’s contributions have come from Austin, and the capital is Cortez’s largest geographic source of donations by about $12K over San Antonio. Both candidates have raised almost identical amounts from PACs and other entities ($146K each), so the difference between them comes from individuals, among whom Cortez has out-raised Galindo, $78K to $22K, for the election cycle.
Neither candidate has raised much from zip codes wholly or partly within the district. Just 2% of all contributions received by the candidates have come from district zip codes, and combined they count just 33 individuals living in those zip codes who contributed less than $1K. However, all of those figures are improvements over 2014, when the candidates combined raised less than $1K from district zip codes.
Geographic Sources of Contributions (2015-16 Cycle)
Raised from District Zip Codes
- Austin – $121,141
- San Antonio – $30,152
- Rest of Texas – $9,293
- Out of State – $7,000
Raised from District Zip Codes
- Austin – $96,864
- San Antonio – $84,633
- Rest of Texas – $14,109
- Out of State – $28,215
Top Contributors to Galindo
$60,000 – Texans for Education Reform
$24,950 – Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC
$16,000 – Associated Republicans of Texas
$2,389 – Texas Medical Assoc. TEXPAC
$2,346 – Hispanic Republicans of Texas
$2,000 – Red McCombs, NuStar PAC, USAA PAC, Valero PAC
Top Contributors to Cortez
$30,285 – Texas Trial Lawyers Assoc. PAC
$15,000 – CWA COPE, Texas State Teachers Assoc. PAC
$14,543 – Deputy Sheriffs Assoc. of Bexar Co. PAC
$12,500 – Texas Assoc. of Consumer Lawyers PAC
$9,875 – Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee
$8,340 – Battleground Texas
$7,090 – Michael Battista
$7,000 – ACT for Texas Classroom Teachers Assoc.
$5,500 – Sen. Carlos Uresti
$5,000 – Brown & Ortiz PC, IBEW PAC
$4,500 – Mark Granados
$4,000 – Manuel Pelaez-Prada, Roy Terracina
$3,000 – Michael Hogan, Suren Kamath, William Kaufman, Plumbers Local Union No. 68 PAC, Edward Torres
$2,724 – Elliot Kralj
$2,500 – U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, San Antonio Apartment Assoc. PAC, United Transportation Union PAC
As it was in 2014, Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and the Texas Trial Lawyers Assoc. PAC are among the top two donors for their respective candidates. TLR’s contributions to Galindo so far in 2016 ($25K) are lower than at this point in 2014 ($45K), but TLR provided $88K in support during the final weeks of 2014. TTLA is ahead of 2014 in terms of its support for Cortez ($30K versus $13.5K), and the group contributed $83K to the then-incumbent during the 2014 campaign’s final weeks.
A Bexar Co. Democrat has won this seat in each presidential election year since 1972, though it has been redrawn several times during that streak. A Republican has won the seat in three of the past four gubernatorial election years.
Democrats had an advantage in straight-ticket voting in three of the last four presidential election years, but Republicans had a slight advantage in 2004. The Democrats’ largest advantage (~2,900 votes) came in 2008, and most of that advantage carried forward to 2012.
Since 2000, straight-ticket voters have consistently represented around 54% of all votes cast in the district, regardless of whether it is a presidential or gubernatorial election, with two notable exceptions. In 2006, fewer than half of all votes cast in what is now HD117 were straight-ticket thanks in part to strong independent gubernatorial candidates. In 2012, two thirds of all votes cast were straight-ticket votes as both parties saw significant growth in straight-ticket voting from 2008.
Because of the makeup of the district and the high proportion of straight-ticket voting, this race could be sensitive to any negative impact Donald Trump might have on Republican turnout and straight-ticket voting. While there is a third candidate on the ballot, his write-in status is likely to make him a non-factor, particularly because his likeliest constituency is highly likely to cast Democratic straight-ticket votes.
We will take one more look at this race before Election Day.