30 Day Out Fundraising Reports Roundup: State Senate

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Per Texas law, candidates for state office must file fundraising reports every six months. Additionally, any candidate in a contested election must file an additional fundraising report that reflects their holdings thirty days before voting begins in that election. Candidates in contested primaries had to file reports by February 3 which reflected how much money they raised between January 1 and January 23 as well as how much cash they have remaining on hand. With in-person voting starting next week, these fundraising reports could provide helpful clues on who is favored to win their party's nomination.

This week, Burnt Orange Report will look at all statewide primaries and all legislative primaries that feature an incumbent or seats that could be considered competitive come November's general election.

In our second installment, we will look at the contested primaries for Texas Senate. Overall, there are seven primaries being held over six Senate seats across the state. Both parties have active primaries to replace Sen. Wendy Davis in District 10 while Republican incumbents Carona, Huffman, Campbell, and Seliger are fighting off challengers as is Democratic incumbent John Whitmire.  All fundraising reports were pulled from the website of the Texas Ethics Commission.

You can go back and read our first piece on the Texas statewide primaries here.

Full analysis and race-by-race rundown of contested statewide primaries can be found after the jump.In the tables, “Raised since '13” represents the amount of money a candidate raised from January 1 to January 23. “EoY 2013 CoH” represents how much money a candidate retained in their bank account on December 31, 2013. “Current CoH” represents how much money a candidate had remaining in their bank account on January 23, 2014. “CoH” is shorthand for “Cash on Hand.”

SD-10 (D)

Candidate Raised Since '13 EoY 2013 CoH Current CoH
M. Martinez $14,300 $20,035 $18,795
L. Willis $11,260 $92,271 $92,066

Although, three Democratic candidates filed to appear on the ballot, George Boll has suspended his campaign. The remaining two, Mike Martinez and Libby Willis, have kept pace with each other in fundraising for the last month with Mr. Martinez raising $14,300 and Ms. Willis raising $11,260. However, Ms. Willis maintains $92,066 in cash on hand which is much more than Mr. Martinez's $18,794. The difference maker was a self-loan Ms. Willis gave herself of $77,000. Prediction: Ms. Willis not only has the lead in cash on hand, but she appears to be gaining support among the activists in the district. She should be favored to win the primary.

SD-10 (R)


Candidate Raised Since '13 EoY 2013 CoH Current CoH
K. Burton $3,017 $190,719 $118,523
T. Pompa $4,025 $149,299 $48,303
M. Shelton $27,896 $181,299 $157,076
J. Schweitzer $1,535 $18,299 $4,075
M. Skinner $5,300 $6,743 $6,698

With five candidates running, it is hard to tell if anyone has a clear advantage in this race. What is clear is Jon Schweitzer and Mark Skinner are out of their league compared to the other two candidates. Neither candidate finished 2013 with close to six figures in their bank account, while the other three Republicans did. Former State Rep. Mark Shelton had the strongest January, raising an additional $27,896 while Pompa and Burton both raised under $5,000. Pompa was slightly behind Burton and Shelton in cash on hand at the end of 2013, and has spent two thirds of his cash in the month since. All three candidates have self-funded a significant amount to their campaigns: Pompa has given himself $95,600, Shelton self-donated $100,000, and Burton gave herself as much as the two of them combined with a $200,000 loan. Prediction: The fundraising is close, but expect a runoff between the two leaders who are also the most well known; TEA Party activist Konni Burton and former State Representative and 2012 Texas Senate nominee Mark Shelton. It would not be surprising if Tony Pompa pulls an upset and squeezes past Shelton, however.

SD-15 (D)

Candidate Raised Since '13 EoY 2013 CoH Current CoH
J. Whitmire $62,211 $6,978,886 $7,038,824
D. LaCroix $10,875 $0 $1,249

Long time incumbent John Whitmire is the Dean of the Texas Senate and his longtime incumbency means he has built up a significant financial stockpile just in case he ever faced an electoral challenge as he does in the 2014 primary. Lawyer Damian LaCroix has raised $10,875 and maintains $1,249 with a month until voting begins. The incumbent easily dwarfs LaCroix's totals having raised $62,211 in January and maintains $7,038,824, a slight increase from December 31 when Sen. Whitmire reported $6,978,886 in his bank account. Prediction: It's always nice to see new candidates enter electoral politics, but LaCroix may have bitten off more than he can chew in this race. Expect John Whitmire to cruise to renomination in District 15.

SD-16 (R)

Candidate Raised Since '13 EoY 2013 CoH Current CoH
J. Carona $223,499 $70,528 $705,112
D. Huffines $40,840 $225,867 $159,500

Proving to be the most expensive District race in Texas, Sen. John Carona is fighting off a serious challenge from real-estate developer Don Huffines. Sen. Carona is reporting $223,499 raised in January, had $70,528 at the end of 2013, and maintained $705,112 on January 23. Huffines by comparison raised $40,840 in January, had $225,867 at the end of 2013, and maintained $159,500 on January 23. Beyond the basic amounts raised is the self-funding. As of January 23, Sen. Carona has loaned himself $1,500,000 and Huffines has given himself $700,000. With a month remaining, these candidates could have given themselves more money since then. Prediction: This one is too close to call. Sen. Carona is under attack for being too moderate, but he is the incumbent. Because both candidates are even in financing, this race is a true toss up.

SD-17 (R)

Candidate Raised Since '13 EoY 2013 CoH Current CoH
J. Huffman $1,050 $701,584 $694,283
D. Anthony n/a $0 n/a

Sen. Huffman should not worry about her primary challenge from Derek Anthony. The incumbent has raised $1,050 in the last month and maintains $694,283 in cash on hand. However, she did have to loan herself $620,000 to get that large cash on hand total. Mr. Anthony failed to file a 30 day out report but reported $0 in his bank account in December. Prediction: Sen. Huffman should be renominated without a hiccup.

SD-25 (R)

Candidate Raised Since '13 EoY 2013 CoH Current CoH
D. Campbell $96,370 $289,982 $168,576
E. Chan $3,125 $202,631 $76,286
M. Novak $44,700 $12,584 $8,259

Sen. Donna Campbell has been the target of a potential primary since she won her own against longtime incumbent Sen. Wentworth in 2012. The freshman incumbent appears prepared to beat both of her primary challengers. She easily out-raised both challengers in January and maintains much of her funds from December. Former San Antonio Councilman Elisa Chan raised poorly in January but had a healthy bank account to draw from in January. Much of her funds, however, came from a $200,000 self donation. Former County Commissioner Mike Novak raised well in January but he does not have the funds accumulated in his bank account to make much of a statement in the final month. Prediction: Sen. Campbell knows a thing or two about primary challengers; after all, she was one herself two years ago. Despite the early hype around her challengers, expect Campbell to defeat both and win renomination without a runoff.

SD-31 (R)

Candidate Raised Since '13 EoY 2013 CoH Current CoH
K. Seliger $38,300 $1,624,803 $1,570,376
M. Canon $72,970 $32,533 $77,875

Incumbent Senator Kel Seliger is getting a primary challenge from former Midland Mayor Mike Canon. While Canon's initial fundraising seems impressive with $72,970 raised in January and retaining $77,875 going into the final month, Sen. Seliger maintains the same advantage as Sen. Whitmire SD-15. Sen. Seliger maintains $1,570,376 a month before the election after raising $38,300 in January. Prediction: Sen. Seliger's bank account is too big for Mayor Canon to overcome. Expect Sen. Seliger to be renominated by Republicans in March.

You can review all the candidates running for office in Texas at our Burnt Orange Report Candidate Trackers:

– Statewide Offices

– US Congress

– Texas Senate

– Texas House

– State Board of Education

You can follow me on Twitter at @trowaman.


About Author

Joseph Vogas

Joseph was raised in Friendswood, Texas in North Galveston County. He went on to graduate from the University of North Texas with a degree in Political Science. After working for multiple campaigns, Joseph was able to work in the 83rd legislature in Austin in 2013. While retired from professional campaign work, Joseph enjoys sharing his knowledge of campaign data how to win elections in naturally unfriendly turf with others. Joseph is an avid archer and enjoys all things geek including Star Wars and DC Comics.

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