Statewide and legislative candidates on the ballot this year raised more than $75M during the last half of 2021 and ended the year with more than $200M on hand.

Nearly $3 out of every $7 raised by those candidates went to Gov. Greg Abbott (R), two of his primary rivals and Beto O’Rourke (D), the frontrunner to face him in the general election. Abbott raised $18.9M, almost $10M more than O’Rourke ($8.95M), and more than 9 times the amount raised by either former Sen. Don Huffines ($2.01M) or former Republican Party of Texas chair Allen West ($1.98M).

More than $4 out of every $9 the candidates have on hand sits in the war chests of Abbott ($65.4M) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick ($25.1M). Abbott’s cash on hand figure is the largest ever reported by a Texas candidate or officeholder, and Patrick’s is the largest ever reported by a Texan not named Abbott.

Semiannual campaign finance reports were due yesterday (Tuesday) for all state officeholders and candidates, regardless of their primary election status. These reports disclose contributions received and expenditures made between the earlier of July 1 or the date the campaign committee was formed and December 31. Our Crib Sheets have been fully updated to reflect reports that were available online as of today (Wednesday), which covered nearly all candidates on the ballot.

Statewide Races

The most notable exception was Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R), whose report was not available at press time. All three of his primary rivals’ reports were available, and former Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman (R) led the AG (Lean R) field with nearly $3.7M in contributions, followed by Land Comm. George P. Bush (R) with $1.9M and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) with $1.0M. Paxton reported $652K in contributions during the periods covered by special session reports. Bush reported having $3.15M on hand, followed by Guzman with $2.0M and Gohmert with $882K.

Comptroller Glenn Hegar (R) raised $809K and has $9.27M on hand as he faces largely token opposition for another term. Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) raised $616K – nearly $500K more than all her LAND (Likely R) primary rivals combined – and has $1.8M on hand. The AGRIC (Likely R) primary has drawn far fewer resources so far. Comm. Sid Miller (R) out-raised Rep. James White (R-Hillister), $126K to $91K, and the incumbent holds a $249K to $104K advantage in cash on hand.

Railroad Comm. Wayne Christian (R) raised $333K and has $835K on hand. Both figures trail his colleague, Comm. Christi Craddick (R), who is not up for re-election until 2024. She raised just over $1M and has nearly $3.1M on hand. Supreme Court Justices Evan Young (R) raised $428K, Rebeca Huddle raised $226K and Debra Lehrman raised $95K. Only Young has a primary opponent, and he raised $16K.


Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville) reported $1.69M in contributions, of which he supplied $1.65M, and a cash on hand total of $1.33M, more than 10 times the amount his SD11 open (Likely R) primary rival Robin Armstrong has on hand ($127K). In SD27 open (Lean D), Morgan LaMantia out-raised Rep. Alex Dominguez (D-Brownsville), $142K to $36K, and she has a $602K to $126K advantage in cash on hand. Kevin Sparks (R) raised $906K in his bid for SD31 open (Safe R), nearly 18 times the amount raised by his primary rivals combined.


Challengers are off to slow starts in efforts to oust incumbents. Only 5 primary challengers reported at least $40K in contributions:

  • Mike Olcott ($124K) in HD60 (Safe R), of which $100K came from Flower Mound retiree Darlene Pendery, against Rep. Glenn Rogers, who raised $223K
  • Shelley Luther ($53K) in HD62 (Safe R) against Rep. Reggie Smith, who raised $97K
  • John Harvey Slocum ($43K), of which $35K came from College Station physician Madison Taylor, in HD14 (Likely R) against Rep. John Raney, who raised $65K
  • Kit Marshall ($41K), of which $26K came from the candidate, in HD60 against Rogers; and
  • Ben Bius ($40K) in HD12 (Safe R) against Rep. Kyle Kacal, who raised $162K

In some cases, we may be looking at “Trojan horse” filings from candidates who will receive large contributions from donors within the orbits of ideologically motivated groups on either side, if they haven’t already started receiving them. The 30-day-out reports will shed light on whether any additional challengers are competitive from a fundraising standpoint or are benefitting from such donors.

More contributions went to open-seat races than typically occur at this point in the campaign calendar, and several races are already proving to be quite expensive. So far, 13 primary races for open House seats have attracted at least $150K in contributions for the period:

  • $1.03M to HD133 (Likely R), with Shelly Barineau ($328K), Mano DeAyala ($305K) and Will Franklin ($248K) leading the field
  • $444K to HD122 (Likely R), more than half of which going to Adam Blanchard ($264K)
  • $356K to HD61 (Likely R), competitively split among Frederick Frazier ($167K), Jim Herblin ($125K) and Paul Chabot ($64K)
  • $335K to HD114 (Safe D), with Charles Gearing ($186K) and Kendall Scudder ($79K) leading the field, but the report for former U.S. Rep. John Bryant was not available
  • $298K to HD73 (Safe R), almost entirely split between Barron Casteel ($168K) and Carrie Isaac ($129K)
  • $236K to HD23 (Likely R), with Abel Longoria ($164K) and Gina Smith ($62K) leading the field
  • $213K to HD51 (Safe D), with Lulu Flores ($128K) and Matt Worthington ($69K) leading the field
  • $208K to HD52 (Lean R) with Nelson Jarrin ($130K) and Caroline Harris ($57K) leading the field
  • $197K to HD93 (Likely R), with Laura Hill ($106K leading Nate Schatzline ($64K)
  • $189K to HD70 (Toss Up) on the Democratic side, almost entirely split between Cassandra Garcia Hernandez ($102K) and Mihaela Plesa ($78K)
  • $176K to HD147 (Safe D), primarily to Jolanda Jones ($70K) and Reagan Flowers ($55K)
  • $158K to HD57 (Likely R), with Richard Hayes ($133K) well ahead of his rivals; and
  • $151K to HD19 (Safe R), with Ellen Troxclair ($86K) more than doubling up Justin Berry ($39K) and Nubia Devine ($25K).

That last race is surprisingly low on the list given Troxclair’s fundraising success in the first half of the year ($374K) and Berry’s time on the campaign trail.

We will be digging into these and other races of interest in the coming weeks (Federal candidates’ reports are not due until January 31.). For candidates facing primary opposition, 30-day-out reports are due January 31 and 8-day-out reports are due February 22. The 30-day-out reports cover the first 20 days of 2022 – tomorrow (Thursday) is the last day of the reporting period – and the 8-day-out reports cover roughly a month, from January 21 to February 19.

Candidates without primary opposition do not file their next campaign finance report until July 15.

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