Promising Start for Dem Senate Candidates
Campaign finance reports show Houston Mayor Bill White out front
In the latest filings, covering the race through Sept. 30, Houston Mayor Bill White leads the ticket in terms of fundraising, spending, and cash on hand. Close behind is fellow Democrat John Sharp, whom White will face in next year's primary. However, Sharp's take is boosted by a $3.1 million loan to his own campaign, and he trails White significantly on individual contributions, with White pulling in almost $4 million to the former state comptroller's $641,084. That said, you still can't read too much into it: Sharp's early campaign strategy was based on the idea that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison would quit the Senate early to start her primary challenge to Gov. Rick Perry, turning the Nov. 3 constitutional amendment election into a special Senate election, a scenario that didn't unfold. For that kind of race, name recognition and a quick cash injection would have been key, so it may be the next reports that define Sharp's fundraising prowess.
Trailing behind both Dems at this early stage are all four big-name Republicans fighting to replace Hutchison as their party's nominee. Former Secretary of State Roger Williams broke the million-dollar mark on individual contributions and loaned himself another $150,000. Meanwhile, the battle between Railroad Commissioners Michael Williams (no relation to Roger Williams) and Elizabeth Ames Jones continues, with Williams coming out slightly ahead on donations and loans but having already spent most of what he raised. State Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, brings up the rear on fundraising among the big-name contenders.
Unsurprisingly, there's less cash flow in the congressional races. Republican 10th Congressional District incumbent Mike McCaul has out-raised Dem challenger Jack McDonald ($1,214,096 to $932,613), but their war chests are much closer in heft (McCaul has $891,906 in his coffers to McDonald's $805,308, plus McCaul is sitting on $934,478 in unretired debt). The scene in CD 21 is far less competitive, where Democrat Lainey Melnick's $2,435 in available funds is scarcely one-fourth of 1% of Republican Rep. Lamar Smith's $961,588 cash pile.
|CANDIDATE||PARTY||FUNDS RAISED||SPENDING||CASH ON HAND|
|Elizabeth Ames Jones||R||$614,446||$229,054||$530,514|