Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) is one of four Republican incumbent state representatives to have less cash on hand than his primary challenger, but Capriglione has out-raised Keller council member Armin Mizani, $166K to $124K, and outspent him, $159K to $21K, for the election cycle to date.

During the second half of 2017, Capriglione out-raised Mizani by $40K and outspent him by $97K. Democrat Mica Ringo raised just over $10K, bringing her contributions for the election cycle to nearly $16K. Libertarian candidate Todd Moore has not filed a campaign finance report. This analysis focuses on the Republicans.

Mizani received nearly half of his contributions from individuals and PACs who directly supported Capriglione’s 2012 challenge of then-Rep. Vicki Truitt (R-Southlake), a statistic that is as thematic as it is misleading. It’s thematic because one of the narratives of the race is growing resentment from movement conservatives that Capriglione has gone “establishment.” His 2014 assessment that there was no Speaker’s race and pledge to vote for Speaker Joe Straus stunned and angered conservatives, but they failed to field a primary challenger in 2016.

His grade on the Texans for Fiscal Responsibility/Empower Texans report card has fallen from A In 2013 to C- in 2015 to F in 2017. “After his first session, Capriglione turned his back on his constituents and joined the very cabal that he’d campaigned to oppose,” wrote Clay Cheshire, the group’s vice president, in a blog post. “Capriglione’s decision to betray his conservative colleagues in the Texas Legislature and support Texas House Speaker Joe Straus for re-election which shocked, alarmed and disappointed the very activits who propelled him into office [sic].” The group previously endorsed Mizani for his 2015 council race, which he won with 52% of the vote.

It’s a misleading statistic because 93% of the $59K contributed to Mizani by 2012 Capriglione donors came from one source: Empower Texans PAC. Nearly half of the remainder came from NE Tarrant Tea Party PAC. In all, Mizani’s donor base includes 13 individuals who contributed to Capriglione’s 2012 campaign. Luke Macias, who was Capriglione’s chief political strategist in 2012, is Mizani’s campaign consultant (Macias just posted a video to his firm’s Facebook page apologizing for his involvement in that campaign.)

Austin-based donors have supplied nearly half of all funds contributed in this primary race, representing 49% of Capriglione’s and 45% of Mizani’s total contributions. Four cities wholly or partially located in the district are among the next five biggest geographic sources of contributions. Caprligione has the advantage in his home of Southlake, $12K to less than $1K, and Mizani holds the edge in Keller, $14K to just under $9K.

Mizani has a slight lead in contributions ($39K to $37K) from zip codes wholly or partially located within HD98, but Capriglione has a small edge (165 to 130) in the number of contributions from individuals in those zip codes. Prior to the 2012 primary, Capriglione received 136 contributions from individuals in those zip codes, totaling $16K.

The 13 individual donors who crossed over to Mizani gave an average of $181 to Capriglione prior to his 2012 primary victory. They have given Mizani an average of $157 to date.


Rep. Capriglione

Rep. Giovanni Capriglione

Serving third term

Largest Contributors

$35,400 – Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC

$13,050 – Associated Republicans of Texas

$5,000 ­­– Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC

$3,000 – Oncor PAC

$2,688 – Texas House Republican Caucus PAC

$2,500 – Tom Durant, Q PAC, Texas Consumer Lenders PAC

$2,050 – Eric Lesch

$2,000 – Good Government Fund (Bass family), PSEL PAC, Rural Friends of Electric Cooperatives PAC, USAA Employee PAC


Armin Mizani

Council member since 2015

Largest Contributors

$55,000 – Empower Texans PAC

$10,000 – Darlene Pendery

$8,000 – Robert Lovein

$5,000 – Vesta Broumand-Mizani, Reza Mizani, Kyle Stallings

$3,000 – Michael Olcott

$2,500 – Hamid Mizani

$2,232 – NE Tarrant Tea Party PAC

Capriglione’s three largest donors – Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC ($35K), Associated Republicans of Texas ($13K) and Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC ($5K) – comprised just under a third of his total contributions. Mizani’s three largest donors – Empower Texans PAC ($55K), Darlene Pendery ($10K) and Robert Lovein ($8K) – provided nearly $3 out of every $5 raised by the challenger.

The candidates’ next campaign finance reports are due February 5, covering contributions received and expenditures made during the first 25 days of 2018.

©2018 Texas Election Source LLC