TX-10: Democrat Jack McDonald Raises $300,000+ in Five Weeks

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Jack McDonald, the ceo of the Austin-based company Perficient, has raised $308,655 in the five weeks since he announced his exploratory committee, the Statesman reports.

This is clearly an impressive start and is probably going to make any other Democrats who were considering jumping in this race think twice. Perhaps the report may even inch incumbent Mike McCaul towards a bid for Attorney General.

District 10 encompasses two media markets and is among the most expensive districts in the state. Larry Joe Doherty raised over $1 million last year and still lost by double digits. We are going to need a lot of money (and a great candidate, of course) to have a good shot at winning this district. It is early, but I think McDonald has the potential to provide both.

When we have discussed this race in the past, several people (including myself) expressed concern about several Republican contributions in McDonald's past. The controversy centered primarily on contributions to George W. Bush in 2000 and to Ben Bentzin in 2005.

I would guess his contribution history will come up again in the next few months. The contributions to Bush and Bentzin are very dissappointing, but we should also remember that he has given tens of thousands to Democrats and Democratic groups, in Travis County, Texas, and across the nation. 98 percent of his political contributions have been to Democrats.

Putting that aside, it is clear from the early fundraising totals that this will be a race to watch in 2010. Let's hope the DCCC is paying attention, too.


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  1. Rich Democrat vs Rich Republican
    Self made millionaire Democrat lining up to run against millionaire Republican that married well. I think I will forgive the rich Democrat for his minor republican campaign contributions. After all it's not like McDonald was Bush's business partner or his ambassador to Australia.

    I liked both Larry Joe and Dan Grant in 2008 for District 10. However, in 2010, McDonald maybe a wiser choice given the circumstances and the size of this district in two major media markets. I am keeping an open mind on this one.

    • More to it than just rich
      I had the pleasure of getting to know Jack McDonald since my jump into politics – in fact, he was a supporter of mine.

      It's no surprise that the public-spiritedness he's shown to countless people and organizations in Austin would cross over into a run for public office. He's compassionate, interested in doing right by all the people in CD 10 (rather than just a fortunate few), and genuinely wants to serve his country.

      Simply put, if Jack were to win this seat, Congress would be the better for it.

  2. Amnesty has its virtues.
    Frankly I am rather tired of looking backward.  I do not care who gave what to whom –  I care who believes and is willing to do the correct thing now.

    Nothing is more crippling to the Democratic Agenda and to America's Future than an absurd devotion to the minutiae of progressive orthodoxy.  That frankly is Rush Limbaugh's function on the other party.

    We got primaries to take of these matters.

    Let everybody who wants to play come and do so.  This is my CD – I'm not through looking yet, but I will consider everyone evenly.

    Due to the stupidity with which Texas elects its judges, I made some small contributions to Republican Judicial Candidates in Tarrant County when I practiced law there, in order to help a good Judge who was forced to run with the baggage of a party label which no other western nation would force on her or him to survive a primary.  Most lawyers in one party counties have and will until we fix the international embarrassment of a system which vomits up a Sharon Keller far more often than a John Marshall.

    I'm for movin' on, and moving Texas Forward.  

  3. Impressive
    Those are great numbers for the first report and a good thing for Jack. I've been impressed with him since meeting last fall when he was considering this race.

    This district, due to demographic trending and no Obama effect, is likely better to run in for 2010 than 2008 actually, and having enough money to run in both sides of the district in terms of media would be hugely helpful. I don't think Doherty was able to quite get both ends covered.

    Of course, the top of the Texas ticket and if there is a Senate special election going on makes a difference as well.

  4. Early Money…
    Good signs. I'd like to see McDonald keep pilin' it up. This is a winnable district, and if McDonald can show he has the prowess and fortitude to campaign hard, he can do it. If he can continue to post impressive fundraising numbers, I hope that sends the DCCC in sooner rather than later. Let's make this a high-profile pick-up for 2010.

    Demographically, in its current incarnation TX-10 is going to turn Blue eventually. (Though I imagine redistricting will radically re-shape it.) I think we can pick it up this time around, if we all pitch in and work hard on it.

  5. Money down a hole
    Throwing money at a Republican district is money thrown away. Ask Skelly or Matula 'bout that. Better than that, figure out a way to get rural, anglo voters to quit voting 80% Republican.

  6. Northwest Harris County needs to see the Candidate!
    Every time someone runs for the TX 10 District they go out to Austin and the small rural townships but you hardly ever see them in Harris County.  Ted Ankrum was about the only one that tried and it may just be because he lived there.  

    We have all but about 20 Democratic Pct Chairs filled in that area and we're working on correcting that, but if the Pct Chairs don't even know the candidate, it makes for a hard sell.  Especially to an almost all Republican audience.

    I've read his Bio and of course I'll vote for him and promote him.  Maybe, maybe….

  7. Need more than money to win an election
    Though these numbers are impressive (very in fact), it takes a lot more than tons of cash to win elections. As was stated before we wont be able to outspend McCaul so we need to find someone who can energeize and organize in ways that we have not seen in. We need someone who can raise money but also raise the dander of our district to travel to places that 10'rs have not gone in a long time.

    From what I know about him, which is admittedly limited to just his website, I am neither impressed or excited. Will I vote for him if he gets the nod? Yes. But will I nock on those 20 doors, make those 100 phone calls or organize those house parties? I don't think so and that, my good friends, is what it is going to take to win. As we all know nothing beats a shake of the hand and I dont know if McDonald can get that done. I will also keep an open mind, but am not impressed from my first impression.

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