Democrat Paul Sadler has compiled the latest fundraising figures for his U.S. Senate race, and it’s not pretty: $72,800 for the first three months of the year.
“It’s shocking. It’s absolutely shocking to me,” Sadler said. “We’re in uncharted waters. I don’t think we’ve seen a primary where there was basically no money given. And that’s basically where we are.”
The paltry numbers pale in comparison with the millions raised by his Republican counterparts.
Democrats expect to pick up a few state House seats this year, but they are bracing for a possible loss of one seat in the state Senate and are given virtually no chance of winning statewide office. The party that produced Lyndon Johnson and Ann Richards has not won a statewide race since 1994.
Sadler, a powerful committee chairman during his service in the Texas House, attributed his meager fundraising totals to a lack of media attention on the Democratic primary. He faces three political novices who haven’t made much of a splash, either. His opponents include Sean Hubbard, Addie Allen and Grady Yarbrough.
He also said donors are tired of giving.
"There’s a lot of donor fatigue,” Sadler said. "I think they’re just tired of getting hit on.”
Sadler acknowledged that he doesn't relish spending long hours raising money, which is often what is required in a state as large as Texas.
“Some candidates can sit in an office for 10 hours a day asking for money," he said. "That's just not who I am."