One of the three Republicans running to succeed Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) has several significant advantages in campaign resources over his rivals, and this time he cannot be out-raised or outspent by an incumbent. Two years ago, Cook defeated Corsicana bakery owner Thomas McNutt by 225 votes in the 2016 Republican primary after out-raising the challenger, $1M to $452K, and outspending him, $1.4M to $472K. This time, Cook is retiring and McNutt holds the key advantages.

McNutt announced his plans to seek a rematch against Cook in April, while the legislative session was still in progress. Six months later, Cook announced he would not seek re-election. Several weeks after that, Palestine real estate broker Cody Harris announced he would seek the seat. After Thanksgiving, Streetman business developer Linda Timmerman made her campaign announcement. By the time his opponents had entered the race, McNutt had already raised nearly $375K and received endorsements from dozens of local elected officials and conservative activists.

The eventual primary winner will face Oakwood cattle raiser Wesley Ratcliff (D) and Bynum educator Dodd Carmichael (I), assuming the independent candidate files a petition with sufficient signatures. Ratcliff has not filed a campaign finance report, and Carmichael has not yet established a campaign committee.

Timmerman reported a $30K loan balance, and Harris has a $5K loan balance. McNutt did not report any loans.

At this point in the 2016 campaign, McNutt had $500K less on hand than Cook. This time, McNutt has a $150K advantage over Harris and a $200K advantage over Timmerman.

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