January finance reports for city of Houston candidates are here. This post will look at the various At Large candidates. I’ll do the district races and the Controller’s race later. Let’s dive in.
Dist Candidate Raised Spent Loan On Hand ========================================================= AL1 Miles 189,366 28,313 50,000 161,052 AL1 Baker 3,795 2,725 0 1,070 AL1 Ramirez 34,301 21,079 20,000 40,892 AL1 Reyes 96,586 46,735 0 30,577 AL1 Wolfthal 57,025 31,454 0 44,892 AL1 Dolcefino AL2 Nwabara 20,316 10,513 20,000 30,720 AL2 Hellyar 131,528 25,209 0 135,248 AL2 Vilaseca 109,182 23,792 0 89,585 AL2 Davis 9,500 0 0 9,500 AL2 Bess 146,587 26,024 0 109,525 AL2 Coryat 12,050 3,635 0 9,914 AL3 McCrutcheon 2,725 1,905 0 920 AL3 Carter 160,485 50,965 4,000 190,096 AL3 Cantu 43,623 13,586 10,000 30,038 AL3 Curry 17,812 2,148 0 15,670 AL3 Joseph 10,060 37,675 102,755 82,351 AL3 Cooper AL3 Amadi AL3 Nguyen AL3 Ganz AL4 Plummer 93,392 11,870 7,000 100,392 AL4 Morales 19,852 12,854 205 25,219 AL4 Branch 4,358 3,605 0 752 AL5 Alcorn 166,625 61,043 0 406,170 AL5 Cossey
We have a couple of oddball filings here. James Joseph listed $10,060 in unitemized contributions on his summary page, with $112,815 for his total raised. On his Subtotals page, which comes next, the $10,060 was listed as the total of his contributions, with $102,755 in loans. He also filed a correction report, which was signed by his treasurer instead of by him, but didn’t actually detail the correction he intended to make. I can infer what he intended, but he needs to file a correction to the correction.
Incumbent CM Letitia Plummer did something similar, listing an virtually impossible sum of $57,814 in unitemized contributions, with $93,392 as the total raised, and then put the $57,814 figure on the Subtotals page for her actual total contributions. That $93,392 plus the $7,000 loan she listed adds up to her $100,392 cash on hand total, which is also completely implausible. I looked back at the January reports to see if her cash on hand from there could be reconciled with these numbers, but it just can’t. I have no idea what her true numbers are; as of Thursday she had not filed a correction report.
Willie Davis, who has run a few times before, listed $1,272 in expenses from personal funds, which he intends to refund from contributions, which means his cash on hand number is really $8,228. I assume one does things this way because one needs to spend money before one has the ability to raise it, but all of his contributions are dated April 20 and all of his expenses came at or after that date. Go figure.
The two incumbents with challengers both look to be in good shape. CM Sallie Alcorn, who by all accounts has been a stellar member of Council, had another strong report and a well-stocked treasury against a no-name opponent who didn’t file a finance report. CM Letita Plummer has a reasonably well-known opponent in Roy Morales, who always seems to do better than I think he will. I could see him forcing this race to a runoff, but I feel confident CM Plummer will prevail in the end.
In At Large #1, going by the Manning spreadsheet, three of the six candidates are Dems and three are Republicans, but the three Dems were by far the biggest fundraisers, with Melanie Miles putting in the best numbers. Anthony Dolcefino ran in 2019 and has some name recognition thanks to his dad, but you don’t file a finance report, you don’t get any respect from me.
At Large #2 is all Dems except for the aforementioned Willie Davis, who made it to a runoff twice against outgoing incumbent David Robinson but never came close to beating him. Honestly, if I were the king of the smoke-filled back room, I’d consider moving one of Nick Hellyar, Holly Vilaseca, or Danielle Bess over to At Large #3. Only two of them can make the runoff here, so why not spread the strength around a bit?
As for At Large #3, Richard Cantu is a current HCDE Trustee, so he’s won elections before, but that’s not a high profile office and he doesn’t have much money. James Joseph has some money but it’s all loans and you really need more than $100K to get your name out there to the citywide electorate. That is the same Richard Nguyen who had previously served in District F, but without a finance report (and he wasn’t great at filing them as a Council member), what are you gonna do? I get a lot of campaign emails from Donnell Cooper, but (say it with me now), no campaign finance report, no respect. Twila Carter is the Republican candidate (well, Ericka McCrutcheon is also a Republican, but with 99% less juice) with support from the business community (her campaign contributors include Tilman Fertitta and Jim Crane) as well as endorsements from HPOU and HOME-PAC, the builders’ association. She’s the one to watch, but Houston’s a Democratic town and with a Mayoral runoff between two Democratic candidates she’s got a needle to thread in order to win. I don’t know which Dem currently in this race is best positioned to beat her.