House candidates raised more than $18 million from July 1-December 31, and they collectively have $35 million on hand. About a quarter of that cash-on-hand total belongs to Speaker Joe Straus, who raised more than $2.5 million and has $8.8 million on hand. Straus faces two primary opponents, one of whom raised nearly $190K, which is a competitive amount for most House races. By and large, the top campaign war chests and top contribution totals belong to the Speaker’s leadership team and/or belong to incumbents facing no primary challengers. A lone Democrat made each list. Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), has the 6th highest cash-on-hand balance, and Rep. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) posted the 7th highest contribution total.

Top House Campaign War Chests
  • $8,836,405 – Speaker Joe Straus (HD121)
  • $1,815,633 – Rep. Todd Hunter (HD32), unopposed
  • $955,809 – Rep. Charlie Geren (HD99)
  • $669,883 – Rep. Byron Cook (HD8)
  • $589,177 – Rep. Dennis Bonnen (HD24), unopposed
  • $585,652 – Rep. Senfronia Thompson (HD141), unopposed
  • $534,144 – Rep. Drew Darby (HD72), unopposed
  • $518,738 – Rep. John Kuempel (HD44), unopposed
  • $502,955 – Rep. Tan Parker (HD63), unopposed
  • $499,878 – Rep. Angie Chen Button (HD112)
  • $494,876 – Rep. Doug Miller (HD73)
  • $458,721 – Rep. Larry Phillips (HD62), unopposed
  • $457,731 – Rep. Lyle Larson (HD122), unopposed
  • $444,227 – Rep. Trent Ashby (HD57), unopposed
  • $405,760 – Rep. Four Price (HD87), unopposed

Top House Contribution Totals
  • $2,556,510 – Speaker Joe Straus (HD121)
  • $466,946 – Rep. Todd Hunter (HD32), unopposed
  • $429,884 – Rep. Charlie Geren (HD99)
  • $352,654 – Rep. Byron Cook (HD8)
  • $320,652 – Rep. Jonathan Stickland (HD92)
  • $297,778 – Rep. Doug Miller (HD72)
  • $290,951 – Rep. Richard Raymond (HD42), unopposed
  • $235,343 – Rep. Four Price (HD87), unopposed
  • $226,239 – Rep. Trent Ashby (HD57), unopposed
  • $209,440 – Rep. Wayne Smith (HD128)
  • $203,997 – Justin Holland (HD33)
  • $191,853 – Rep. Jason Isaac (HD45), unopposed
  • $191,652 – Rep. Tony Tinderholt (HD94)
  • $189,197 – Jeff Judson (HD121)
  • $170,875 – Rep. Cindy Burkett (HD113)

A total of 17 primary challengers raised at least $40K for the period. All but two of the challengers face Republican incumbents, most targeted by Empower Texans and other grassroots conservative groups. Only one of these 17 challengers out-raised the incumbent. In HD131, John Shike raised $47K to Rep. Alma Allen’s (D-Houston) $12K.

Top Contribution Totals Posted by Primary Challengers
  • HD121: Jeff Judson – $189,197 (Straus)
  • HD8: Thomas NcNutt – $163,399 (Cook)
  • HD99: Bo French – $158,167 (Geren)
  • HD14: Jess Fields – $134,271 (Raney)
  • HD92: Scott Fisher – $94,475 (Stickland)
  • HD115: Bennett Ratliff – $92,785 (Rinaldi)
  • HD2: Bryan Slaton – $66,854 (Flynn)
  • HD81: Josh Crawford – $63,672 (Landgraf)
  • HD114: Dan Morenoff – $50,933 (Villalba)
  • HD75: Chente Quintanilla – $50,300 (M. Gonzalez)
  • HD150: Valoree Swanson – $50,072 (Riddle)
  • HD55: Hugh Shine – $47,955 (M. White)
  • HD131: John Shike – $47,400 (Allen) – out-raised incumbent
  • HD128: Briscoe Cain – $42,712 (Smith)
  • HD58: Philip Eby – $42,116 (Burns)
  • HD94: Andrew Piel – $41,505 (Tinderholt)
  • HD47: Jay Wiley – $40,638 (Workman)

We will be looking in detail at some of the contribution patterns among some of the Republican challengers later this week.

Former members seeking their old seats generally did not fare as well as the current incumbents:

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