January 31, 2020

Cornyn Loads War Chest for Potential Dem Threat
that Might Not Be as Serious as He'd Been Warning

Texas House Target Races Texas Senate Fundraising
Texas House Open Races House Dem Challengers
Texas House Open Races

By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor

Congress Fundraising
Texas Races to Watch

January-December 2019
Campaign Loans
Cash December 31
 
John Cornyn (R-Inc)
United States Senate
Total Donations: $7,249,838
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $12,116,658
Michael McCaul (R-Inc)
Congressional District 10
Total Donations: $851,096
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $984,383
Mike Siegel (D)
Congressional District 10
Total Donations: $438,900
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $151,560
Gina Ortiz Jones (D)
Congressional District 23
Total Donations: $2,454,733
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $2,028,187
Sunny Chaparala (R)
Congressional District 24
Total Donations: $3,916
Campaign Loans: $321,760
Cash on Hand: $300,826

Source: Federal
Election Commission

Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn could be shifting from high anxiety to cruise control after raking in more than $10 million from donors last year amid constant warnings of a blue wave on the horizon in a 2020 re-election race.

Cornyn raised almost $2.1 million in the final three months of 2019 with a predictable haul that pushed his total donor dollar count to $14.5 million since his last appearance on the Texas ballot en route to a blowout win almost six years ago.

That's almost identical to the total amount of money that the veteran lawmaker rounded up from supporters during his entire re-election campaign in 2014 when he crushed a Democratic challenger by 27 percentage points with nearly 62 percent of the vote - the highest share for a Republican in a statewide race with Democratic opposition in the Lone Star State that year.

Cornyn reported contributions of more than $10.4 million last year based on the latest campaign finance report that the Federal Election Commission made public on Friday. None of the final statements for 2019 that the leading Democrats in the competition for a shot at Cornyn in November had been posted by the FEC by the close of business today.

Democrat MJ Hegar of Georgetown had a substantial fundraising lead over 11 Democratic primary rivals in the U.S. Senate competition here after the first nine months of 2019. But Hegar has been clinging to a narrow lead in polling on the Democratic field that's shown a surprising amount of voter apathy on the fight for the nomination and a chance to do battle with Cornyn this fall. Cornyn's massive war chest could have a depressing effect on the Democratic contenders' pitch for donor funds before the field is narrowed to two in an expected primary runoff.

A former Texas attorney general and state Supreme Court judge, Cornyn ended December with more than $12.1 million in the campaign bank as one of the leading fundraisers among Senate Republicans who running for six-year terms again in 2020.

Cornyn - a U.S. Senate member since 2003 - has been distracted to some degree as a key player in the impeachment case that Democrats in the U.S. House initiated against President Donald Trump last fall when they formally accused him of abusing the power of the White House. An acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate has appeared to be inevitable.

The lion's share of the fourth quarter reports that Texas congressional candidates submitted to the federal agency in January were available for public viewing by the final day of the month. But there were some scattered exceptions like U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul - an Austin Republican who could be destined for his toughest test at the polls in the 2020 general election.

McCaul generated more than $851,000 from contributors in 2019 before heading into January with $984,000 in the campaign bank. McCaul raised more than $269,000 during the final three months of the year for a re-election bid in a U.S. House district that hooks the Capital City to the Houston area. McCaul had almost $1.6 million in total receipts in 2019 when transfers from other political committees are calculated into the equation.

One of the Democrats who wants to replace McCaul in Congressional District 10 - Mike Siegel of Austin - reported donations of almost $439,000 last year with only $96,000 coming in the fourth quarter.

Two other Democrats who are doing battle for the nomination in CD 10 - Shannon Hutcheson of Bastrop and Pritesh Gandhi of Austin - had each raised more than a half-million during the first nine months of 2019. The fourth quarter reports that Hutcheson and Gandhi were required to submit to the FEC this month haven't been posted at this point.

San Antonio Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones - the minority party's nominee in Congressional District 23 in 2018 - continued to bolster her status as the frontrunner on her side of the aisle in a comeback bid there with contributions of more than $803,000 in the final three months last year. After losing by a razor-thin margin to Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of San Antonio in her initial bid in CD 23, Jones bounced back by raising almost $2.5 million in the past year for a second consecutive campaign in the district where the incumbent isn't seeking a new term in 2020.

more to come ...

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