30 day 2023 campaign finance reports – Houston City Controller


Continuing with 30 day campaign finance reports, here they are for Houston City Controller candidates. The July reports for these candidates can be found here.

Candidate     Raised      Spent       Loan     On Hand
Hollins      160,578    598,460          0     214,799
Martin       107,475     31,629          0     225,202
Sanchez       91,808     27,416    198,128      71,681
Nobles         8,150     98,752    112,000      69,663

As before, you can find all of the reports that I downloaded in this Google Drive folder. You can find all of the candidates in the Erik Manning spreadsheet. All hail Erik Manning.

The first thing to say is that at least in terms of money spent, One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others. Chris Hollins continues to leverage his big cash advantage from his time in the Mayor’s race. His report shows about $375K in advertising expenses. The report doesn’t specify what types of ads they were, but I’ve seen his stuff on the web and the socials, and I’ve gotten some mail from him. He can’t keep this up for too much longer, but I presume that what he spent will continue to pay for those ads at least through Election Day.

Two caveats about Hollins, at least at this juncture of the campaign. One is that he also spent a bunch of money on consulting fees, wages and salaries, and office rental/overhead. I didn’t bother to add it up, but that $375K for advertising leaves over $220K for other expenses, and it was clear at the glance I did take that those three items were the large majority of it. That’s all well and good, he’s got a full campaign and all, but those costs do add up, and now that his cash cushion is gone, this might constrain him a bit in a runoff. He no longer has a cash advantage over Martin, or Sanchez depending on how much of that loan is current. He can still raise more cash for the runoff, if he needs to, but people don’t write the big checks for Controller candidates like they do for Mayors.

I didn’t take a closer look at Dave Martin or Orlando Sanchez’s reports because at least in terms of expenditures, there’s nothing to say. Sanchez can plausibly claim a certain level of name recognition, but that’s not really so for Martin, even as a ten-year Council member. I know the temptation is to save something for overtime, but you have to get there first.

Shannan Nobles did spend a bit on advertising, about $65K in total. Of that, about $3K was for yard signs and radio and magazine ads. The rest was for billboards – I know I see one near my house, on I-45 near I-10. You could buy a lot of time on cable TV for that kind of money, that’s all I’m going to say.

I’m working on the Council candidates next. Let me know what you think.

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