The Chron notes that where there are elections there are contributions, even for our diminished HISD Trustees.
The threat of state officials stripping power from Houston ISD trustees has not scared off donors interested in the district’s school board elections, with 13 candidates combining to raise about $210,000 through early October.
With about a month before the Nov. 5 general election, candidates running for four school board seats were collecting money at a similar pace as the 2017 election cycle, campaign finance records show. That year, 19 candidates took in about $300,000 with a month remaining before the general election, which featured five regular races and one special election in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The bulk of donations to date have been collected by five non-incumbent candidates.
In District IV, which covers parts of southern and downtown Houston, Matt Barnes and Reagan Flowers outpaced the two other candidates running to replace Trustee Jolanda Jones, who is not seeking re-election. Barnes, the founder of Barnes Strategies Consulting, took in about $61,000, more than any other candidate had raised at this time in 2017. Flowers, the CEO of nonprofit C-STEM Teacher and Student Support Services, netted about $31,000.
To HISD’s east, District VIII challenger Judith Cruz collected about $60,000 in donations as of early October, far more than the single $2,500 contribution reported by incumbent Board President Diana Dávila, who traditionally does not raise campaign funds.
Armed with a fundraising advantage and several endorsements — Houstonians For Great Public Schools, Harris County Young Democrats and Latino Texas PAC, among others — Cruz is campaigning as a voice of change and transparency. The race comes as Dávila faces accusations from TEA investigators that she misled state officials during an inquiry into potential violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act and improperly interfered in district vendor contracts. Dávila has denied the allegations.
The story also mentions District III challenger Dani Hernandez ($26K) and District II candidate Kathy Blueford-Daniels ($17K, though most of that was in kind donations). Naturally, I have the details:
Candidate Raised Spent Loan On Hand ==================================================== B-Daniels 17,660 780 2,500 0 German 250 627 0 250 Moses 790 658 0 131 Lira 6,585 5,709 0 6,883 Hernandez 26,627 5,994 0 16,478 Flowers 31,120 8,979 3,058 22,140 Allen 3,845 318 0 0 Barnes 42,736 34,640 2,491 23,375 Davila 2,500 2,605 19,073 0 Cruz 45,235 7,191 0 48,833
Here are the July reports. Many of the candidates running now were not in the race at that time. The totals mentioned in that Chron story are cumulative – Barnes had raised about $19K as of the July report, and Cruz had raised about $15K – but each individual report only reflects the amount raised and spent during that time period (July 1 through September 26 for these purposes), so what you see above is just that part of it. Nobody has raised any money in District II – as noted above, nearly all of Kathy Blueford-Daniels’ total is in kind donations – which for an open seat race is a situation that always intrigues me. District IV looks to be pretty competitive – Reagan Flowers entered after the July reports were filed, so everything she has raised is there in the 30 day. Hernandez and Cruz have raised their money, now they have to spend it. We could have a very different Board in less than two weeks.