Congressional Campaign Fundraising [UPDATE]
Senate and House candidates late-posted dollars
By Michael King,
12:30PM, Thu. Oct. 17, 2019
Tuesday, Oct. 15, was the Federal Election Commission filing deadline for Congressional campaign fundraising for the third quarter (ending Sept. 30). This morning: new posts for Senate and all six Austin-crossing districts.
We reported most totals last night; several more have been posted this morning. Worth special notice: TX-10 (Shannon Hutcheson); TX-21 (Wendy Davis); TX-31 (Donna Imam). See updates and additional notes below.
The FEC web site posts overall totals, disbursements, and cash-on-hand (COH) for the Democratic and Republican primary candidates, as well as Libertarians and Independents (the site is worth exploring for more detail). The following is a summary (with some commentary) on the now posted fundraising progress so far (all totals rounded).
The Texas Republican and Democratic primaries are Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2020; general election is Nov. 3, 2020.
Incumbent Republican John Cornyn posted $13.5 million raised, $10.8 million COH.
Veteran and author MJ Hegar (D), now posts $2.1 million raised, $894,000 COH.
JOLT founder and former director of Workers Defense Project, Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez (D) posted $459,000 raised, and $225,000 COH.
State Sen. Royce West (D), who announced in July, posted $550,000 raised, $377,000 COH. Note: West's totals today reflect slight increases from yesterday's posted numbers.
Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards posted $557,000 raised, $338,000 COH.
Former Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell posted $207,000 raised, $112,000 COH.
Senate notes: Cornyn's access to massive funding is daunting, but means less for the primary campaigns -- right now the Democrats are running against each other, with Hegar, who declared earliest, still the de facto frontrunner.
There are four other Democratic senatorial candidates with initial FEC filings. The most prominent is Houston activist Sema Hernandez, who has tied her candidacy to the Poor People's Campaign and Bernie Sanders, but has raised only $7,500 ($3,900 COH). None of the others report significant fundraising. Also worth noting are Chris Bell’s relatively anemic totals compared to other prominent Dems. Two more Republicans and a Libertarian have also filed for the Senate seat.
Of the six Congressional districts that encompass some portion of Austin, third-quarter and cash-on-hand totals have now been posted for all Democratic and Republican candidates for party nominations.
Republican incumbent Michael McCaul posted $1.2 million raised, $820,000 COH.
Primary care Dr. Pritesh Gandhi (D) posted $528,000 raised, $318,000 COH.
Attorney and community organizer Mike Siegel (D) posted $356,000 raised, $152,000 COH.
Attorney Shannon Hutcheson posted $535,000 raised, $373,000 COH.
TX-10 notes: Hutcheson's updated figures posted this morning, and she's confirmed anticipated solid fundraising. All three Democratic candidates have sufficient funds for district-wide campaigns, and McCaul's resource advantage won't affect the primary campaign.
Software engineer Rick Kennedy (D) posted $31,000 raised, $18,000 COH. (Posted this morning.)
TX-17 notes: Kennedy, who lost to GOP incumbent Bill Flores (retiring) in 2018, is the sole Democratic candidate. Former GOP Congressman Pete Sessions has announced for the Republican nomination, but is embroiled in the Ukraine scandal and not yet filed finance reports or even updated his TX-32 campaign web site. A second GOP candidate, veteran Trent Sutton, has reported no fundraising.
Republican incumbent Chip Roy posted $1.2 million raised, 1.1 million COH.
Former state senator and attorney Wendy Davis (D) posted $940,000 raised, $604,000 COH. (Posted this morning.)
Circle C swim coach and Dem activist Jennie Lou Leeder (D) posted $15,700, $1,180 COH.
TX-21 Notes: Although Davis declared relatively recently, she's already raised enough to be in shouting distance of Roy's incumbency advantage, and to be considered a heavy favorite for the Democratic nomination. Also, independent Michael Felts, of the purportedly nonpartisan "Alliance" Party, posted $3,600 raised, $3,400 COH.
GOP incumbent and businessman Roger Williams posted $876,000 raised, $1.3 million COH. (Posted this morning.)
Central Health board member Julie Oliver posted $223,000 raised, $148,000 COH. (Posted this morning.)
Community farm manager and Democratic Socialist organizer Heidi Sloan posted $56,000 raised, $33,000 COH. (Posted this morning.)
TX-25 notes: Incumbent Williams's relatively flaccid fundraising suggests he's waiting for the general election campaign; Oliver is relentless and is raising sufficient funds to be competitive in her second run. This is Sloan's first fundraising report, but she needs to make up ground quickly -- in politics terms, March 3 is very soon. A third Democrat, Christian Johnson, has nominally filed for this race, but he reports no fundraising and apparently has no online campaign presence.
As of this morning, there are seven declared candidates for the Democratic nomination in TX-31, hoping to challenge incumbent GOP Rep. John Carter. As of today, four of the seven Dems have reported significant fundraising to the FEC.
Carter posted $873,000 raised, $726,000 COH. (Posted this morning.)
Primary care Dr. Christine Eady Mann (D) posted $95,500 raised, $38,000 COH.
Computer engineer Donna Imam posted $60,000 raised, $53,000 COH. (Posted this morning.)
Austin consultant and restaurateur Dan Janjigian posted $23,000 raised, $21,000 COH.
Retirement consultant and musician Eric Hanke posted $18,000 raised, $9,000 COH. (Posted this morning.)
TX-31 notes: Although Eady Mann (who ran and lost to MJ Hegar in 2018) is the de facto frontrunner, Imam and Janjigian apparently have sufficient resources to compete for the Democratic nomination. Surgeon Murray Holcomb (D) posted $67,000 raised, $9,000 COH, but recently announced he is withdrawing from the campaign, for “personal and family” reasons. Three other declared Democratic candidates (John Bravo, Jon Curtis, and Omar Kadir) posted no significant fundraising results. One other GOP candidate, Michael Williams, posted $39,000 raised, $9,500 COH. Two additional declared Republicans (John Bohlin and Abhiram Garipati) have posted no fundraising results to the FEC.
Dem candidate Dan Janjigian is notable for having competed as an Armenian bobsledder in the 2002 Olympics (he holds dual citizenship). He also appeared in the now notorious 2003 Tom Wiseau film, The Room, “remade” this year by James Franco.
Incumbent Democrat Lloyd Doggett posted $468,000 raised, $4.6 million COH.
Assistant Attorney General Nick Aden Moutos posted $40,000 raised, $8,900 COH.
TX-35 notes: Doggett is the default Democratic nominee in this sole district gerrymandered by Republicans (anchored in San Antonio, stretching to Austin) to "pack" Democrats away from nearby GOP districts. Moutos appears to be a token GOP candidate in this district, with a hasty campaign presence -- as of this morning, his web site describes "OR [sic] TEAM," with a heavy emphasis on his military service, less on his legal career.
A final note on campaign fundraising: in Congressional campaigns, comparative totals generally mean less than simply having sufficient resources to underwrite a district-wide (or statewide for Senate) campaign. One more quarterly report should be available in mid-January, but by then, wheat and chaff, if not final primary outcomes, should be reasonably clear.