Initial Mayoral fundraising totals

Lotta money being raised out there, though not quite as much as the topline totals say.


Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia was first out of the gate with his figures, announcing Tuesday that he raised $1.5 million since announcing his candidacy in May. According to his campaign, Garcia neither contributed his own money nor transferred funds from his sheriff’s account.

Former Mayor of Kemah [Bill] King followed with a statement Wednesday morning saying he raised $1.25 million, $750,000 of which came from donors, meaning King likely supplied $500,000 for his own bid.

[CM Stephen] Costello [who reported raising $1.8 million total] also financed his own campaign to the tune of $250,000 and transferred $262,000 from his city council account, according to his release.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner reported raising $750,000 in the nine days between the end of the state legislative fundraising blackout and the close of the reporting period. Turner started the race with $900,000 from his legislative account already in the bank.

Meanwhile, 2013 mayoral runner-up Ben Hall raised nearly $800,000, according to his campaign, $500,000 of which he donated himself.

Former Congressman and City Councilman Chris Bell ended the reporting period with the lowest number of the group, having raised $400,000.

Businessman Marty McVey and others who have filed to run for mayor have yet to release their fundraising totals.

Couple things here:

1. Money you donated to your own campaign is not money you raised. It’s real money, and it has a real effect, but it is not the same thing. I suspect that the reported self-donation totals here don’t quite tell the full story, but we won’t know until we see the reports.

2. Not all of those “money raised” figures is actual money, whether self-donated or not. In kind donations often make up a big chunk of some finance reports. Some of that represents real value – donated campaign office space, for example, or food and drink for a campaign event – but a lot of it is just plain puffery. Again, we’ll know when we see the reports. Note that the larger the in-kind donation total, the greater the disparity will be between total raised and total on hand, since in-kind ain’t money.

3. The other factor affecting cash on hand, of course, is how much you spent, and on what. Some campaigns wind up spending a lot more on consultants and other things that don’t exactly equate to voter outreach than others.

4. And yes, this stuff matters, which is why I spend time on it. You want to know who a candidate is appealing to, one way or another, finance reports don’t lie. They’re a peek behind the curtain, and no matter how you feel about the process, it’s better to know who’s financially tied to whom. (Nice Cyndi Lauper reference, btw. I always liked that song.)

For now, this is what we know. I will be going over all the reports when they come out, and will have them uploaded and posted to my 2015 Election page for your perusal. I’ll do a few posts summarizing and analyzing what’s in the reports as well. As always, money isn’t everything, but a campaign that can raise it and knows how to use it can be much more effective than one that can’t and doesn’t. Stace has more.

UPDATE: More from Greg.

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6 Responses to Initial Mayoral fundraising totals

  1. Paul Kubosh says:

    Nice post Kuff. I appreciate you doing all of this work. I often wonder if you make any money for all the work you are doing. I don’t see any advertising anywhere. Maybe you could form something that would allow all of us to contribute. 🙂

    One more thing…where is Bullard?

  2. joshua ben bullard says:

    council member stephen costello and council member david robinson lied to over one hundred thousands citizens in houston by telling us we would all just pay 5$ in a drainage fee=what council member david robinson and stephen costello dont tell the 2015 city election voters that they both made tremendous amounts of money that came from tax payers on their rain tax that they created and misled the voters,when i wrote 2005-245 i did it to extend and save the lives of thousands of citizens in houston from dangerous second hand smoke ,it is with this much passion and belief in the process that i know cm david robinson and stephen costello not only should return to the private sector but both should and may end up being investigated …

    cm costello cm david robinson assume the postion,,,,joshua ben bullard ,every word of it.

  3. PDiddie says:

    We were all hoping you would have found a keyboard with a working shift key for appropriate capitalization during your sabbatical, Joshua.

    Or perhaps taken a little refresher course in English punctuation, maybe learned the meaning of run-on sentences…

  4. Paul kubosh says:

    Well its always good to have pdiddie pointing those things out.

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