Time once again to look at campaign finance reports. I don’t usually review the 30-day reports but this is a special year, and there’s a lot of money sloshing around, so let’s keep an eye on it. As before, I will split these into four parts. Part one will be statewide, SBOE, and State Senate, part two will be State House races from the Houston area, part three will be State House races from elsewhere in the state, and part four will be for Democratic incumbents that may be targeted. I’m not going to be doing every race of course, just the ones of interest. January reports for statewide candidates can be found here, January reports for various SBOE and State Senate races can be found here, and the July reports for the candidates in this post are here.
Candidate Office Raised Spent Loan On Hand =========================================================== Castaneda RRC 310,709 161,145 27,166 103,934 Wright RRC 243,765 452,473 45,000 169,761 Meachum SCOTX 103,704 27,920 0 200,072 Hecht SCOTX 176,761 806,375 0 105,298 Triana SCOTX 37,075 19,945 0 134,736 Busby SCOTX 314,946 580,588 0 342,010 Cheng SCOTX 17,901 5,196 90,174 80,371 Bland SCOTX 167,487 490,849 0 132,174 Williams SCOTX 127,667 69,733 1,000 78,572 Boyd SCOTX 128,500 168,373 0 466,196 BellMetereau SBOE5 63,473 18,316 2,250 66,834 Popp SBOE5 64,012 22,713 60,000 50,637 Palmer SBOE6 17,395 8,251 0 12,982 Hickman SBOE6 2,660 819 2,500 2,887 Webster SBOE10 4,195 3,200 25 4,523 Maynard SBOE10 4,332 14,797 4,000 848 Criss SD11 18,137 29,403 0 5,048 Taylor SD11 47,775 138,166 0 1,054,841 Gutierrez SD19 199,270 50,785 0 11,309 Flores SD19 627,919 531,779 0 606,589
I didn’t have a whole lot to say about these reports last time, and I don’t have much to add now. Chrysta Castaneda raised a few bucks and has done a bit of TV advertising, but there’s not a whole lot you can do statewide with less than a million bucks as an opening bid. She has done well with earned media, and I think Democrats may be more aware of this race than they usually are, which could have an effect on the margins if it keeps the third-party vote level low. To be sure, the Presidential race is by far the single biggest factor here. The hope is that Castaneda can outpace Biden, even by a little, and if so then she just needs it to be close at the top.
The same is true for the Supreme Court, where Dems at least are fired up by the rulings relating to mail ballots. I think the potential for crossovers is lower than in the RRC race, where Jim Wright is so obviously conflicted, but just retaining a sufficient portion of the Presidential vote would mean a lot. I know people like to talk about the lack of straight ticket voting, but 1) these races are all near the top of the ballot, following the three federal contests, and 2) the message about voting out Republicans at all levels has been pounded all over the place. How much will it matter? I have no idea. All this may be little more than a social media mirage. It’s just what I’ve observed.
I am a little surprised that Roland Gutierrez hasn’t raised more money, and it’s equally odd to me that Pete Flores has outspent him by that much. But like everywhere else, the top of the ticket will drive this result more than anything else. In the context of 2016, this was basically a 10-12 point Dem district. Flores has to convince a lot of people to cross over in order to win. That’s the challenge he faces.
More of these to come. Let me know what you think.