Speaker Dade Phelan’s (R-Beaumont) campaign said he raised $4.5M during the second half of 2020 and ended the year with $4.8M on hand. It was the most ever raised by an incoming House Speaker, edging out former Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s $4.1M in contributions between July 1 and December 31, 2018. Former Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland) raised $1.1M during the second half of 2003. Former Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) raised just $117K in the six months ending 2008, but it was not clear he would become Speaker until January 2009. In fact, Craddick raised $1.1M during the same period as he sought a fourth term as Speaker.
Together, the “Big 3” raised nearly $21M, a record for the six months entering a session following a presidential election. Four years ago, Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and then-Speaker Joe Straus (R-Angleton) collectively raised $18.2M over the six months leading into the 2017 legislative session.
Three times before, the “Big 3” at those times have raised more – $27.1M before the 2015 session, $25.2M before the 2011 session and $22.2M before the 2003 session – but those all followed gubernatorial election years.
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