Last but not least, here are the 30-day finance reports from the 10 non-Houston-area seats that Dems flipped in 2018, plus four others of interest. Part One of my stroll through the 30-day finance reports, for statewide, SBOE, and State Senate candidates, is here. Part Two, with State House races from the Houston area, is here. Part Three, for the other House races of interest, is here. The July reports for these candidates can be found here. Let’s do this.
Dist Candidate Raised Spent Loan On Hand ============================================================== HD31 Guillen 70,625 24,066 0 493,094 HD31 Knowlton 14,390 11,515 0 13,391 HD34 Herrero 95,325 80,201 0 240,175 HD34 Hernandez 19,546 12,865 0 23,441 HD45 Zwiener 417,524 154,920 0 169,357 HD45 Isaac 227,503 104,256 0 155,094 HD47 Goodwin 134,569 66,855 13,000 201,970 HD47 Berry 446,275 106,578 0 75,601 HD52 Talarico 147,900 73,299 0 191,497 HD52 Valdez 157,845 4,683 0 18,519 HD65 Beckley 201,301 70,787 0 108,005 HD65 Thimesch 269,935 38,322 10,000 130,222 HD74 Morales 44,078 7,697 215,000 42,890 HD74 Falcon 2,300 2,224 5,000 75 HD102 Ramos 139,061 39,314 310 98,053 HD102 Koop 261,349 91,189 0 58,993 HD105 Meza 75,860 31,737 0 85,926 HD105 Hernandez 37,115 20,425 8,500 16,690 HD107 Neave 50,432 53,321 0 78,451 HD107 Smith 44,729 31,426 2,400 23,914 HD113 Bowers 180,175 114,854 0 74,693 HD113 Douglas 450,556 135,201 0 401,426 HD114 Turner 165,163 143,114 7,000 457,498 HD114 Del Rosal 398,601 183,323 10,000 268,392 HD115 Johnson 163,755 52,629 0 330,655 HD115 Brownlee 47,434 9,916 11,000 61,613 HD136 Bucy 109,468 87,022 46,375 109,579 HD136 Guevara 31,460 10,724 2,000 8,709
As before, we can confidently say that while all these districts are competitive on paper, some of these races are a lot more competitive than others, at least judging by the way candidates are raising (or not raising) money. A quick bullet-point recap:
– It’s not a surprise that none of HD31, HD34, nor HD74 are being seriously challenged. Republicans just have not made much effort in South Texas and the Valley, at least not at the State House level. I wouldn’t expect any of these races to be all that competitive, but HD74 is an open seat. If I were a Republican, I’d be annoyed by this.
Jennifer Fleck, who had a SPAC report as well as her personal report as of July, did not have a report for either that I could find as of yesterday. She didn’t have much to report in July, but she was in the primary runoff, so she had a reason to be starting at a lower point. This was the one Republican district in Travis County, and it had been won by a Republican every election except for 2006 and 2008 going all the way back to at least 1992 before Vikki Goodwin took it in the blue wave of 2018. I know that the Travis County Republican Party in particular is a dumpster fire, but still. It’s a bit mind-boggling that they’re not putting up much of a fight here.
UPDATE: I managed to have the wrong candidate here – Justin Berry defeated Jennifer Fleck in the primary runoff, and I just goofed on it. Berry has an impressive amount raised, but as you might guess, it’s mostly in kind – indeed, $294K of it is in kind. Still, this is real money being spent on him, so I take back everything I said about this district not being contested. My apologies for the error.
– My mind is also boggled at the thought of a freshman Democrat in Williamson County drawing such un-spirited opposition, but that’s where Rep. John Bucy is. Not a complaint, mind you, just a head-scratcher.
– Some day, when we can be together in person again, I hope to corral a Dallas political type and ply them with beer so they can explain to me why HD115 is essentially being ceded. To be fair, Julie Johnson won by thirteen points in 2018, but then John Turner won by eleven. I mean, I don’t expect Rep. Johnson to have been in any trouble, but again – freshman Rep, longtime Republican seat, and you have to have some belief in yourself. What I’m taking away from all this is that the Republicans for the most part just aren’t on offense all that much. It’s defense, defense, defense, with a few energetic challengers and the Associated Republicans of Texas PAC doing a lot of heavy lifting. And again, to be fair, they just need to limit their losses to stay in the Speaker’s seat and have redistricting all to themselves again. You’d just have thought – or at least, I clearly did – that they’d have had bigger ambitions than that.
– The rest are being challenged in a way one might expect, though as we have discussed before, some of those fundraising totals are misleading due to in kind contributions, which in this case is ART PAC money for the most part. Lucio Valdez only raised about $15K himself, and Linda Koop only raised $77K. Neither Carrie Isaac ($48K in kind) nor Kronda Thimesch ($166K in kind) had much cash on hand in July but have acquitted themselves well since then. The candidates themselves may not have raised all that much overall, but the money being spent on them is still money being spent on them. I feel generally confident about the Dem freshlings holding their seats, but there are definitely some races I’ll be keeping a closer eye on.
That wraps up my stroll through the state 30 day reports. I’ll have the Q3 Congressional reports next week – they’re only just now in the system. Let me know what you think.