Opposed state and legislative candidates were required to file 8-day-out campaign finance reports yesterday (Monday). These reports include contributions received and expenditures made between September 28 and October 27. We are in the process of updating our Crib Sheets. Here we focus on key House races. Our look at statewide and Senate races can be found here.
In general, Democratic challengers and open seat candidates’ totals were lackluster given the overall political climate and the strong fundraising efforts of the party’s congressional challengers. Several candidates seeking seats that rate highly on our “index” of potentially flippable seats are underfunded relative to the opportunity. We have previously discussed how money was not necessarily chasing opportunity this cycle, and today’s results do little to change that analysis.
Notable exceptions are John Turner in open HD114, Julie Johnson in HD115 and Gina Calanni in HD132. Turner out-raised Lisa Luby Ryan by nearly $50K, and Calanni out-raised Rep. Mike Schofield (R-Katy) by more than $75K. Johnson was out-raised by Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) for the period but has out-raised him over the election cycle. One other exception is Vikki Goodwin in HD47, who raised $200K for the period, $100K less than Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin). Goodwin’s contribution total was the third highest for a House challenger, trailing only Turner and Johnson. Several other challengers, such as Alex Karjeker in HD129, were not far behind the incumbents, but the incumbents’ contribution totals were relatively low figures for contested seats. Challenger Joe Rosenthal out-raised Rep. Gary Elkins (R-Houston) in HD135, but Rosenthal’s contribution total was just $41K.
Four Democratic seats are highlighted below. In HD107, challenger Deanna Metzger’s contributions were within $1K of Rep. Victoria Neave’s (D-Dallas). In open HD118, former Rep. John Lujan (R-San Antonio) out-raised the Democratic nominee by $16K. All four seats have been won by a Republican this cycle, two of them in part because of low turnout in gubernatorial elections in those districts, and one in part because of low turnout in special elections.
HD45 open: Republican nominee Ken Strange out-raised Democratic challenger Erin Zwiener, $301K to $65K, and outspent her, $53K to $26K. He has a $63K to $29K advantage in cash on hand (COH).
HD47: Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin) out-raised Democratic challenger Vikki Goodwin, $300K to $200K, and outspent her, $273K to $129K. Workman has a $154K COH advantage. His largest contributors for the period were Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC ($60K), the Gov. Greg Abbott (R) campaign ($53K), Texas House Republican Caucus ($40K), Associated Republicans of Texas PAC ($19K) and the Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC ($10K). Goodwin’s largest contributors were House Democratic Campaign Committee ($108K), Annie’s List ($10K) and Planned Parenthood PAC ($10K).
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