WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, maintained a financial advantage over his likely Democratic rival for Texas' 23rd Congressional District — the man he unseated, former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego — in the most recent campaign reporting period.
Hurd raised just over $300,000 from July through October. Gallego, meanwhile, raised slightly more than $200,000 in the same quarter.
That Hurd haul is a drop-off from his especially strong first and second quarters. Even so, he outpaced Gallego by about $100,000 in the third quarter and stocked up a $550,000 cash-on-hand advantage.
Hurd will report $856,333 in cash on hand, while Gallego will report $307,045.
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Typically, incumbents have an easier time raising money than challengers.
Candidate fundraising is a crucial metric, reflecting the organizational health of a campaign. Federal law dictates that candidates secure lower advertising rates than outside groups, and having money in the bank to spend on those TV ads is a key strategic tactic in any U.S. House race.
This race would be a rematch between the two men in a district that frequently switches parties. Texas' 23rd is the only truly competitive congressional district in the state. Hurd defeated Gallego by 2 percentage points in 2014.
The outcome of the 2016 race has national implications.
If Democrats are going to make any headway in increasing their historically small caucus, they must win a seat as competitive as this one. Hurd, on the other hand, is one of two African-Americans among House Republicans. Republicans are frank about the party's struggles with diversity issues, so protecting him is a top priority for the party.