Dist Candidate Raised Spent Loan On Hand
AL1 Miles 53,133 58,396 50,000 144,643
AL1 Wolfthal 40,054 76,371 0 10,040
AL1 Reyes 38,405 47,688 0 18,206
AL1 Baker 3,550 3,000 8,550 8,550
AL2 Hellyar 48,125 42,840 0 138,413
Al2 Vilaseca 44,559 57,436 0 84,158
Al2 Coryat 13,836 14,250 0 9,500
AL2 Bess 10,245 53,774 0 65,996
AL2 Nwabara 11,736 28,649 0 18,446
AL2 Davis 12,925 8,283 0 1,805
AL3 Joseph 99,700 62,206 0 37,493
AL3 Carter 32,425 21,975 4,000 200,546
Al3 Cantu 23,097 10,831 0 39,120
AL3 Curry 3,938 19,571 0 2,360
AL3 McCrutcheon 2,725 11,437 25,000
AL4 Morales 8,188 4,875 5,534 21,729
AL4 Branch 300 1,157 0 300
AL5 Alcorn 64,520 50,029 0 432,922
I will remind you that if you don’t see a candidate’s name, it means I didn’t see an electronically filed finance report for them. Other candidates may have filed paper reports; I did not go looking for them. 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. Erik Manning is an EGOT who also has a Heisman Trophy and won the National Spelling Bee.
You may not be aware of this, but the city of Houston is big. It’s geographically big, and it has a lot of voters. Even in a low-turnout election, one with a lightly contested Mayor’s race, there will be about 150K voters. Sending three mail pieces to the universe of likely voters, which is a minimum to hope to get some retention of the information you’re trying to convey, will run you a hundred grand or so. You can do a pretty decent blockwalk campaign of a Council district, but a citywide blockwalk would take a small army. Radio, TV, and web ads are fairly cheap, but good luck reaching a significant portion of the voters you want to reach.
The point I’m trying to make is that running a citywide campaign is resource intensive, and if there’s one thing that should be clear from the many times I’ve reported on campaign finances, only a small number of At Large Council candidates have those resources. A lot of the names on the ballot will be unfamiliar to a lot of the voters. This is why there’s more undervoting in At Large races, and why we get some goofy results.
Do with that what you will. I will note that two At Large Council candidates have been running ads that have been stalking me on the web and social media, Leah Wolfthal and Sallie Alcorn. I’ve seen stray ads from Obes Nwabara and Letitia Plummer. Maybe I’ll see some more in the last few days before early voting, and maybe I’ll see some more during early voting. I’ve done the interviews I’ve done, and you can listen to them, so at least there’s that if you want to know more.
Because of the certainty of runoffs in big fields, especially big fields with no incumbent, there’s always a question of how much to spend now, if one is fortunate enough to raise more than subsistence funds, and how much to hold back for the runoff. One can get bogged down in these calculations, and one can risk looking like Buck Showalter in the playoffs, leaving your best relief pitcher in the ‘pen waiting for a save opportunity while a lesser arm blows the game.
You may be looking at that table above and wondering “Why is there no report listed for CM Letitia Plummer?” The Chron addresses that in a story about the various missing reports.
The candidates who have not submitted campaign finance reports are Alma Banks-Brown, Koffey Smith El-Bey and Tyrone Willis from District B; Felix Javier Cisneros from District C; Lloyd Ford and Debra Rose from District D; Eriq Glenn from At-Large 1; Bernard Amadi, Donnell Cooper, Ethan Michelle Ganz and Richard Nguyen of At-Large 3; Andrew Patterson from At-Large 4; and J. Brad Batteau and Rigo Hernandez from At-Large 5.
Another four candidates – incumbent District B council member Tarsha Jackson, District H candidates Cynthia Reyes Revilla and Sonia Rivera, and At-Large 2 candidate Marina Angelica Coryat – submitted their reports after the Oct. 10 deadline, according to the city’s online database of campaign finance reports.
District C candidate Perata Bradley filed a report that is mostly blank. She told the Chronicle that she was unsure how that happened, and that she planned to file a corrected report as soon as possible.
Banks-Brown, Willis, Glenn and Nguyen each acknowledged they missed the deadline to file their reports but said they would submit them this week.
Betteau said he was told he did not have to submit a report because it would be blank.
“I didn’t collect any money or spend any money on the campaign,” he said.
Hernandez said he submitted a paper copy of his report to the City Secretary last week. The office said Tuesday that it had only received paper copies of reports from Travis McGee of District D and Enyinna Isiguzo of District G. Those reports have not yet been posted online.
Amadi, Cooper and Ganz have not responded to phone messages seeking comment.
Patterson, Rose and Smith El-Bey all said they have not submitted their reports because the city did not provide them with a log-in and password to access the online database. All said they were working to get their reports submitted this week.
Ford and Cisneros each said they submitted their reports, and were unsure why they have not appeared on the online database.
“I guess we’re not the only ones having issues,” Ford said.
Incumbent At-Large 4 council member Letitia Plummer’s report is not appearing on the website, but she provided a screenshot showing that she submitted it Oct. 10 and subsequently provided a copy of the report to the Chronicle. The City Secretary’s office said it appears her report was not submitted in the correct format.
It’s common for some number of reports to show up later on. I don’t usually worry about why that is. I’m going to assume that some of the people now claiming that they will submit their reports this week will get to it, but almost certainly it won’t be all of them.
I didn’t look all that closely at the reports, but one that caught my eye was James Joseph’s, since it no longer has any mention of the $100K loan he claimed was outstanding in July. To be fair, it didn’t mention anything else, as it ended after the subtotals page. Maybe we’ll eventually see a corrected report from him as well.