State officeholders and legislators were required to file campaign finance reports for the first special session, which concluded August 6. The moratorium on accepting campaign contributions applies only to the regular session. Once the moratorium expires, officeholders can accept contributions even if the Legislature is in special session.

These reports exist outside the typical reporting schedule and serve a narrow purpose of disclosing contributions received during the time the Legislature is in session, which was July 7 through August 6. As a matter of fact, the reports do not provide a total amount raised – just the itemized contributions.

Because these contributions will be included in their January semiannual report, which is the next regular campaign finance report, we do not include this round of reports in our Crib Sheets. For the most part, officeholders and legislators reduce their fundraising activity during the actual special session and typically report low contribution totals or no contributions. There are exceptions.

Of interest were the fundraising performances of the announced Republican candidates for attorney general:

  • Former Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman raised $193K, including $25K each from Houston executive Greg Curran, Houston energy executive Peter Fluor, Sugar Land executive Al Gonsoulin and Austin retiree Joe Long.
  • Land Comm. George P. Bush raised $158K, including $25K each from Lake Mary, Fla. attorney John Morgan and Sandia developer Blackstone Dilworth.
  • Gen. Ken Paxton raised $39K, including what appears to be two separate $10K checks from San Antonio executive Richard Wells accepted on the same day.

Even more interesting is none of them was the top fundraiser for the office. That title goes to Democrat Lee Merritt, who raised $285K, including $22K from Real Justice PAC – his sole contributor giving more than $5K – and $95K from donors contributing less than $50 each. A report from Democrat Joe Jaworski was not available.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) report was filed but not yet available online. Former Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) raised $129K, of which $100K was contributed by Gordon retiree Guy Mabee. Former Republican Party chair Allen West’s report was not yet available online.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) raised $127K. Democratic challenger Mike Collier raised $57K. Speaker Dade Phelan (R) raised $95K. Comptroller Glenn Hegar (R), Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller (R) and Railroad Comm. Wayne Christian (R) each raised a little over $10K.

LTGOV: U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (R) and Ted Cruz (R), former Gov. Rick Perry (R) and former President Trump endorsed Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) for re-election. Patrick chaired Trump’s campaigns in Texas.

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