On the day he was inaugurated to a second term, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) set new campaign finance records:

  • Abbott reported having $18.3M cash on hand, which is not only the highest post-election figure ever for a Texas state official or candidate, but also more than the combined totals of the gubernatorial election winners in 2006, 2010 and 2014 combined.
  • Abbott raised $77.4M since January 2015, the highest four-year election cycle figure in state history, eclipsing the $62.4M “raised” by 2002 Democratic nominee Tony Sanchez, who was almost entirely self-funded. Abbott’s four-year total is $19M more than his 2011-14 total.
  • During the 2017-18 election cycle, Abbott out-raised Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez, $44.3M to $1.9M, the largest gap between major party candidates in state history. Abbott’s $42.4M fundraising advantage eclipsed Sanchez’s $41.6M advantage over Rick Perry in 2002.

Abbott reported raising nearly $2.4M between October 28 and December 31. Since January 1995, Abbott has raised $166.5M, extending his own record as the most prolific fundraiser in state history. Since January 2013, Abbott has raised $125M, the highest six-year figure in state history, breaking his own record of $107M set between January 2012 and December 2017. Perry’s best six-year total was $70.6M, set between January 2005 and December 2010.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) also set fundraising records. His campaign reported having $9.3M on hand, the highest post-election total for an office other than governor in state history and nearly $3M more than the combined totals of the LTGOV election winners in 2006, 2010 and 2014 combined. Patrick reported raising $16.8M during the last two years, the highest two-year figure for a LTGOV candidate, eclipsing the $16.4M raised by David Dewhurst in 2001-02.

Patrick raised nearly $1.7M during the period.

Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) raised $4.1M since July 1, of which almost $4M came after November 12, the day he announced he had the pledges to succeed the retiring Joe Straus (R-San Antonio. Bonnen received $2.3M in contributions between December 4 and December 8, the last day legislative and statewide elected officials could accept contributions. Bonnen received nearly four dozen contributions of at least $25K during the period, including:

  • $100K from Border Health PAC
  • $87K from Charles Butt
  • $63K from HillCo PAC
  • 55K from Tillman Fertitta
  • $52K from AT&T Texas PAC
  • $50K each from A&M PAC, Paul Foster, Friends of UT Southwestern Medical Center PAC, Woody Hunt, John Nau Ross Perot Jr. and Alice Walton
  • $40K from Oncor Texas PAC
  • $39K from Texas Assoc. of Realtors TREPAC; and
  • $38K from Gulf States Toyota PAC.

Bonnen has nearly $4.6M on hand, setting a new record for an incoming Speaker. Straus had $648K on hand at the corresponding time in his speakership, and he did not report having more than $4.5M on hand until December 31, 2012, the end of his second term as the House’s leader.

Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) raised $1.4M between October 28 and December 31, and he has $2.6M on hand. His contribution total broke his own record, set in 2014, for the most ever raised by a Texas AG following a general election. His cash on hand total is slightly more than he had as of December 31, 2014, but trails Abbott’s $9.2M war chest as of December 31, 2010, and his $5.6M on hand as of December 31, 2006.

January semiannual campaign finance reports were due yesterday (Tuesday), and most became available online starting today (Wednesday). We will continue updating our 2018 Crib Sheets with these new numbers over the next few days.

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