January 22, 2020

Republican House Hopeful as GOP Power Hitters on Board
for 2020 Bid for Blue Wave Seat that Could Be Lost Cause

Targeted Incumbents

House Dem Challengers

Open House Contests

By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor

Texas Fundraising
General Election 2020

House Races to Watch
Republican Challengers
July-December 2019
Cash December 31

Luisa Del Rosal (R)
House District 114
Jan 15 Report: $192,203
Total Donations: $352,836
Campaign Loans: $10,000
Cash on Hand: $283,929
Carrie Isaac (R)
House District 45
Jan 15 Report: $51,686
Total Donations: $154,244
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $108,546
Bud Wymore (R)
House District 45
Jan 15 Report: $57,465
Total Donations: $120,000
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $80,185
Jenny Forgey (R)
House District 47
Jan 15 Report: $78,145
Total Donations: $115,045
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $56,151
Will Douglas (R)
House District 113
Jan 15 Report: $103,774
Total Donations: $103,774
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $72,597
Linda Koop (R)
House District 102
Jan 15 Report: $91,181
Total Donations: $91,181
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $68,320
Justin Ray (R)
House District 135
Jan 15 Report: $52,666
Total Donations: $88,427
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $47,082
Don Zimmerman (R)
House District 47
Jan 15 Report: $40,882
Total Donations: $78,540
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $52,300
Kronda Thimesch (R)
House District 65
Jan 15 Report: $57,638
Total Donations: $57,638
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $54,181
Justin Berry (R)
House District 47
Jan 15 Report: $17,146
Total Donations: $42,917
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $8,744
Aaron Reitz (R)
House District 47
Jan 15 Report: $15,959
Total Donations: $39,447
Campaign Loans: $10,025
Cash on Hand: $19,665
Jennifer Fleck (R)
House District 47
Jan 15 Report: $17,146
Total Donations: $39,055
Campaign Loans: $21,000
Cash on Hand: $22,264
Angelica Garcia (R)
House District 132
Jan 15 Report: $28,045
Total Donations: $28,045
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $21,039
Mike Schofield (R)
House District 132
Jan 15 Report: $27,400
Total Donations: $27,400
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $151,549
Karyn Brownlee (R)
House District 115
Jan 15 Report: $12,132
Total Donations: $12,132
Campaign Loans: $11,000
Cash on Hand: $20,752
Michael Guevara (R)
House District 136
Jan 15 Report: $10,614
Total Donations: $10,614
Campaign Loans: $2,000
Cash on Hand: $878
Austin Talley (R)
House District 45
Jan 15 Report: $780
Total Donations: $12,735
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $971
Lucio Valdez (R)
House District 52
Jan 15 Report: $7,185
Total Donations: $7,185
Campaign Loans: $200
Cash on Hand: $3,607
Nancy Cline (R)
House District 65
Jan 15 Report: $4,455
Total Donations: $4,455
Campaign Loans: $17,000
Cash on Hand: $945
Rick Walker (R)
House District 102
Jan 15 Report: $3,750
Total Donations: $3,750
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $1,482
Gerson Hernandez (R)
House District 105
Jan 15 Report: $750
Total Donations: $750
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $0
Source: Texas
Ethics Commission

The Republican elite have poured a substantial sum of money into a challenger's campaign for a Texas House seat in a Dallas area district that all the kings horses and men might not have a shot at reclaiming for the GOP in 2020 after flipping from red to blue in the last election cycle.

Dallas Republican Luisa Del Rosal had the party power establishment firmly in her corner when she raised almost $353,000 in 2019 with more than $192,000 flowing into her campaign coffers in the past six months for a battle this fall with freshman Democratic State Rep. John Turner.

Del Rosal - the executive director at the John Tower Center at Southern Methodist University - was one of five GOP House hopefuls who garnered contributions in the six-figure range last year in bids for seats that Democrats picked up in 2018 with a massive boost from a blue wave that President Donald Trump triggered.

Carrie Isaac, a San Marcos attorney whose husband served in the lower chamber until early last year, ranked second in 2019 among GOP contenders in the donor dollar chase in House districts that Democrats wrestled from the majority party at the ballot box 15 months ago.

Isaac reported contributions of more than $154,000 last year in a race in a district on the outer edge of the Austin area where primary rival Bud Wymore of San Marcos rounded up $120,000 in 2019 for a fight for a shot at Democratic State Rep. Erin Zwiener of Driftwood in November.

Republicans Jenny Forgey of Austin and Will Douglas of Garland cracked the six-digit mark as well in 2019 in campaigns for seats that rookie Democratic State Reps. Vikki Goodwin of Austin and Rhetta Bowers of Rowlett flipped the last time around.

Douglas had the second hottest hand in the GOP fundraising derby in blue wave districts in the second half of 2019 when he generated almost $104,000 after a late start in the competition for the post that Bowers captured in the last cycle in an open contest.

While Douglas will be able to save the money he's raised for a general election showdown with Bowers in a suburban Dallas County district, Forgey will have to eliminate four Republican primary foes before she can have a chance to do battle with Goodwin this fall. Isaac and Wymore will be competing in the meantime for the GOP nomination in a primary battle that could require a runoff with Austin Talley of San Marcos on the first-round ballot as well in the district that Zwiener will be defending for the first time.

Former GOP lawmaker Linda Koop of Dallas raised more than $91,000 in a bid for a rematch with freshman Democratic State Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos of Richardson after falling victim in 2018 to the national winds that favored the minority party contenders in Trump's long and ominous shadow. Koop appeared to enter January as a prohibitive primary favorite in a district where her lone round-one opponent Rick Walker failed to top the $4,000 mark with his fundraising efforts in 2019.

But ex-House Republican Mike Schofield of Katy didn't fare in the 2019 contributions count as well as his former colleague Koop with donations of less than $28,000 since he resurrected his campaign in a district where Democratic State Rep. Gina Calanni knocked him out of office in the last election.

Del Rosal has given GOP loyalists hope for payback in the suburban district where she's running in north central Dallas with her status as a Hispanic woman as a significant benefit. Armed with an endorsement from Governor Greg Abbott, Del Rosal give Republicans added cause for optimism when she raised about $100,000 more than Turner last year. Turner fans will point out that he entered January with a $100,000 advantage in cash on hand in a district where he and Del Rosal are the only candidates.

Del Rosal corralled five-figure contributions in the past six months from a number of longtime GOP heavyweights in Big D including billionaire oil magnate Ray Hunt, tax consulting firm boss Brint Ryan who donated $10,000 apiece. The Ryan company's political action committee contributed $5,000 to Del Rosal as well.

Del Rosal also received $10,000 from Andy Beal - a Dallas real estate and banking tycoon who donated $2 million to the Trump campaign in 2016 when he served as one of its top economic advisors. Two of the president's largest Texas contributors - Darwin Deacon and son Doug Deason - gave Del Rosa $7,500 combined in the second half of 2019.

But the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC turned out to be Del Rosal's most generous donor in the last six months with a $50,000 contribution that matched the amount of the money she'd received from Dallas developer Harlan Crow and used to get her campaign off the ground. .

But the money could be moot in a district where Trump lost by nine points to Hillary Clinton two years before Democrat Beto O'Rourke crushed Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz there in 2018 with a 15-point margin of victory.

The Republicans could cut their potential losses on the House battlefield with wins in districts that Democrats control now in a state where they minority party would propel back into the majority with a net gain of eight or nine seats in November.

But the GOP's contenders could be facing an all but insurmountable obstacle in the majority protection crusade in light of the fact that O'Rourke beat Cruz in every one of the House districts that Republicans are targeting in 2020.

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