Mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee put another $2.5 million into his campaign last month, widening his financial edge over Mayor Sylvester Turner heading into the stretch run of the race for Houston’s top elected office.
Buzbee’s total, made public in a campaign finance report filed Monday, means he now has contributed $10 million to his mayoral campaign.
Seeking a second term, Turner raised about $733,000 from July 1 through Sept. 26, the period covered by the latest report, and spent more than $2.2 million. He has about $1.6 million cash on hand, compared to Buzbee’s $4.2 million war chest.
The campaign finance reports due Monday were the first in Houston’s city elections since July, when candidates for mayor, controller and city council reported their fundraising and spending totals for the first six months of the year. The latest reports paint a clearer picture of each candidate’s financial strength with two weeks to go until early voting begins. Election Day is Nov. 5.
Turner and Buzbee each reported larger fundraising hauls than the rest of the 12-candidate field, including Bill King, a businessman and attorney who raised $282,000 during the latest period.
King, who narrowly lost to Turner in a 2015 runoff, also lent his campaign $200,000 and spent $550,000 on a mix of ads, campaign consulting fees and other costs, according to his campaign report.
Turner spent nearly $2.24 million during the period and heads into the stretch until Election Day with $1.62 million cash on hand, compared to King’s $263,000.
The mayor now has raised about $3.7 million since July last year and spent $4.2 million, compared to Buzbee’s $5.8 million spending total. King has raised about $967,000 since January, when he began fundraising in earnest, and has spent about $1.1 million.
A spokesperson for King’s campaign said he had passed $1 million in fundraising since Sept. 26, the last date covered by campaign finance reports, from more than 1,500 donors.
Councilman and mayoral candidate Dwight Boykins reported raising $130,000 and spending about $142,000, leaving him with about $58,000 cash on hand.
Former councilwoman Sue Lovell’s campaign finance report was not yet posted by the city secretary’s office as of 6 p.m. Monday.
I’m working my way through the finance reports now – the technical term for this is that there are “a metric crap-ton” of them. I’ll probably have summaries for you next week; I’ll aim to have the HD148 and HD28 reports later this week, once I start seeing them on the TEC website. In the meantime, I advise watching live sporting events on pause, or at least with your remote handy, to mute the onslaught of commercials that are coming our way. Practice some self-care, y’all.