Statewide races might raise the most cash, but candidates for Texas House seats are stacking up some serious ammo. A review of finance reports for the reporting period that began in July and ended in December 2009 revealed some candidates are capable of raising money in the six-figure range. Some, however, are borrowing to support their campaigns.
Rep. Chuck Hopson's switch earlier this year from Democrat to Republican might have displeased some of his colleagues, but no repercussions are evident in his finance reports. The Jacksonville legislator reported a healthy $142,320 in contributions during the filing period. His closest threat in HD-11, financially, is challenger Michael Banks, who really isn't close at all. Banks' report indicates he's spent all he's raised, $5,730, and taken out a $78,000 loan. His total contributions maintained as of the year-end were $8,550, compared to Hopson's $176,000. The district's other GOP hopeful, Allan Cain, reports goose eggs in every category.
The soon-to-be-vacated seat of state Rep. Kino Flores, D-Palmview, has pitted his former challenger Sandra Rodriguez against Sergio Munoz Jr., the son of the former state legislator. Rodriguez almost dethroned Flores in the 2008 race for HD-36 and has raised $189,000 to Munoz's $48,675. She's spent $124,000, which leaves her with $43,000 in contributions. Munoz, after spending $150,500 of his cash, was down to $2,700 in political contributions at year-end. There is no GOP or Libertarian challenger in the race.
Dentist and state Rep. Tara Rios Ybarra, D-South Padre, is trying to stay in the House for a second term and holding her own in the fundraising contest. During the last six months of 2009, she collected $148,000 and spent $124,000. She has $23,000 in the till and an outstanding loan balance of $19,650. Challenger Jose Manuel Lozano isn't in bad shape, having raked in $103,100 in less than six months. He's spent $38,660 and has $51,600 on hand. His report reflects he has no outstanding loan balance.
Austin Democrat, state Rep. Valinda Bolton won't know her opponent in the HD-47 race until November. She's raised $48,700, spent $17,015 and has more than $53,500 available. The incumbent will face one of three GOP challengers, including Paul Workman, whose PAC 'Workman for Texas' has raised $73,000 for his campaign. The PAC has spent $17,900, has more than $68,000 on hand and an outstanding loan balance of $15,000. Workman, who didn't report any individual contributions or expenditures, will face Holly White Turner, who's managed $3,220 in contributions, spent $2,040, has $2,300 on hand and a loan balance of $70,000. Republican challenger David Sewell is also in the race and collected $11,450. He's only spent $350 and has $11,100 available. Libertarian candidates Joe Edgar and Kris Bailey have not filed reports, according to the Texas Ethics Commission's website.
Round Rock Democrat Diana Maldonado has a half-dozen hopefuls after her HD-52 seat. She's collected $106,000 in contributions, spent $34,500 and has a healthy $94,600 still stashed away. Unchallenged in the primary, she will face one of four GOP challengers, including John Gordon, who leads fellow party members with $50,345. Gordon has spent $37,000 and has $18,650 on hand. Larry Gonzales isn't too far behind, having raised $44,600 and spent $11,700. He has $33,100 on hand. Stephen Casey gathered a modest $1,460 in contributions and has $215 left after political expenditures of $1,550. Rounding out the GOP ticket is Alyssa Eacono, who has raised $6,000 for her campaign. Libertarian candidate Charles McCoy did not file a report, according to the state Web site, and Lillian Simmons, also a Libertarian, reported she had neither raised nor spent any money.
State Rep. Delwin Jones doesn't have to wait until November to know his fate — he faces two GOP challengers in the primary. The longtime Lubbock politician from HD-83 raised more than $66,600 during the filing period and has $42,600 left after expenditures of $38,000. His figures are second, however, to challenger Zach Brady's impressive contribution total of $115,700. Brady's not afraid to spend — he went through $96,000 and has $23,000 remaining. Challenger Charles Perry raised a little more than $28,200 and spent $27,650. Perry's outstanding loan balance was $49,300 and he had $45,000 on hand at the end of the year.
There is some nice money floating around in the race for HD-98, currently held by Keller Republican Vicki Truitt. Despite collecting $167,280 and spending more than $76,000, Truitt has nearly $186,000 remaining in her war chest. She has five challengers, but not one who's raising money like she is. Challenger Giovanni Capriglione collected $350, though he managed to spend $18,200. He has $250 remaining. Also vying for the seat is Diane Thorpe, who recorded no collections but spent $815 toward her campaign. In the mix, too, are Republican Rick DeOtte and Libertarians Mark Frohman and Paul Wilson. DeOtte had $100 on hand at year-end. No reports were available for the other two.
Embattled state Rep. Terri Hodge, D-Dallas, faces a formidable foe in challenger Eric Johnson. There is no GOP or Libertarian candidate on the ballot for HD-100 and Johnson appears in a good position for an all-out blitz leading up to the primary (Hodge has the endorsements, though). Johnson has collected $110,600 to Hodge's $49,000. Despite spending more than $51,000 to her $10,700 Johnson has $104,700 remaining, compared to her $49,000. There's also the Terry Hodge Defense Fund, a PAC established to raise money for Hodge's legal defense stemming from her 2008 indictment on federal bribery charges. It had $1,333 at Dec. 31.
The four GOP candidates hoping to represent HD-127 in Harris County have also been up to the task, financially, with Dr. Susan Curling's PAC leading the way. The outfit has raised $158,523, has an outstanding loan balance of $100,000 and has spent $83,467 and had $175, 697 left on hand. Martin Basaldua has raised $116,000 individually, spent $27,000 and has $76,000 on hand. Basaldua also has a loan balance of $25,000. Candidate Dan Huberty raised $62,000 and has $21,200 on hand after spending $74,000. Huberty's outstanding loan balance is $15,000. Candidate Addie Wiseman's cash balance is a solid $32,000 after collecting $50,000 and spending $42,375. Her outstanding loan balance as of the filing deadline was $24,300. The lone Democrat in the race is Joe Montemayor and has until November to add to his modest showing. So far he's raised $1,000, spent $1,400 and has $1,000 on hand.