February 26, 2020

Ex-Speaker Pops Up in GOP Primary Showdown
that Crowns List of Top Open Contests to Watch

Texas House Races to Watch - Incumbents

Texas House Fundraising - Open Races

Texas House Fundraising - Challengers

Texas House and Senate Fundraising

By Mike Hailey

Former Texas House leader Joe Straus - the most popular punching bag for conservatives here in modern times - has resurfaced as a player in the hottest open battle for the lower chamber in the countdown to the Super Tuesday primary election six days from now.

While Governor Greg Abbott has poured more than a quarter of a million dollars into primary fights on the House battlefield in 2020, the San Antonio Republican who served for 10 years as speaker has emerged as a surprise force in a fight that's ranked first on the Capitol Inside Texas Races to Watch for seats in the west wing in the opening round of the 2020 vote.

Straus came off the sidelines in House District 92 when the Texas Forever Forward political action committee that he's bankrolling contributed $10,000 to Bedford Republican Jim Griffin this month as the candidate who the GOP establishment has united behind in a quest to replace outgoing State Rep. Jonathan Stickland. The Texas Forever Forward PAC had given nine former Straus lieutenants $5,000 apiece on the final day of December for contested primaries in a 2020 re-election bids.

Griffin - a former suburban mayor and city council member - had massive help from longtime Straus allies when he raised more than $188,000 in the past month to leapfrog conservative primary rival Jeff Cason of Bedford in the HD 92 money chase in a race that could be a last hurrah for the tea party in Texas if the establishment prevails at the polls next week. Democrats who will be targeting HD 92 this fall will be pulling for Cason when the votes are tallied after Tuesday's election.

The GOP establishment powers that be haven't been on the same page, however, in the top-ranked primary fight on the list of contests that feature candidates from opposing parties competing for the right to challenge incumbent representatives in the November general election.

Former House Republican Mike Schofield has a mix of conservative support and establishment money with the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC backing his comeback bid in House District 132 where a thriller finish could be in store next week with Abbott campaigning vigorously for primary foe Angelica Garcia. Schofield has countered the governor's intervention against him with an endorsement from State Senator Paul Bettencourt - a Houston Republican who's been the architect of major property tax relief legislation in recent years. But Garcia has ART in her camp as a group that's rarely been across the ring from TLR.

The most expensive open race for the House so far this year is ranked second on the watch list is unfolding in another district where the battle lines between conservatives and relatively moderate Republicans have been drawn deep in the sand. House District 60 hopefuls Jon Francis of Cisco and Glenn Rogers of Graford appear to be on track for a runoff duel as a pair of Republicans who rank first and third in fundraising in open races for the lower chamber in round one.

Almost of the money that Francis has raised for an open HD 60 battle has come from Cisco fracking billionaire Farris Wilks, who's his wife's father, and other members of his spouse's family and people who work for it. Establishment Republicans have rallied behind Rogers in a field that includes two other Republicans who could force the race to overtime.

The Associated Republicans of Texas spent $125,000 on the Griffin campaign in the past four weeks while Cason fortified his war chest with more than $25,000 from wealthy Odessa energy industry magnate Charles Saulsbury and members of his family that's based in the Permian Basin. The Texas Alliance for Life PAC - a group that was conceived to protect Straus and his lieutenants from attacks on the right - foot the bill for $13,000 worth of campaign flyers on Griffin's behalf last week. Local elected officials who've been under attack from conservatives at the Capitol also are backing Griffin in HD 92.

Cason has appeared to be Stickland's hand-picked candidate with Wilks as his leading contributor with a $75,000 donation in January when major conservative giver Darlene Pendery kicked in $25,000 for the duel with Griffin. Cason has reaped every major conservative endorsement with the political committees for the Texas Right to Life, Empower Texans, Texas Values Action, the Young Conservatives of Texas and the Texas Home School Coalition in his corner.

more to come ...

 

TEXAS HOUSE OPEN
Jon Francis (R)
House District 60
8 Day Report: $173,830
Total Donations: $800,122
Campaign Loans: $41,064
Cash on Hand: $131,215
Troy Brimage (R)
House District 25
8 Day Report: $26,987
Total Donations: $269,837
Campaign Loans: $50,000
Cash on Hand: $30,389
Glenn Rogers (R)
House District 60
8 Day Report: $97,256
Total Donations: $259,160
Campaign Loans: $50,100
Cash on Hand: $71,880
Jim Griffin (R)
House District 92
8 Day Report: $188,214
Total Donations: $228,141
Campaign Loans: $75,000
Cash on Hand: $31,880
Jeff Cason (R)
House District 92
8 Day Report: $37,362
Total Donations: $281,167
Campaign Loans: $5,000
Cash on Hand: $34,272
Jake Ellzey (R)
House District 10
8 Day Report: $145,163
Total Donations: $264,271
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $29,065
Eddie Morales Jr. (D)
House District 74
8 Day Report: $15,350
Total Donations: $35,950
Campaign Loans: $215,000
Cash on Hand: $43,729
Ryan Pitts (R)
House District 10
8 Day Report: $44,430
Total Donations: $241,711
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $69,534
Jacey Jetton (R)
House District 26
8 Day Report: $88,290
Total Donations: $168,911
Campaign Loans: $30,000
Cash on Hand: $49,359
Rhonda Seth (R)
House District 25
8 Day Report: $5,190
Total Donations:$193,838
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $17,763
Lacey Hull (R)
House District 138
8 Day Report: $116,272
Total Donations: $168,324
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $47,923
Rish Oberoi (D)
House District 26
8 Day Report: $30,616
Total Donations: $116,583
Campaign Loans: $30,000
Cash on Hand: $49,976
Jeff Whitfield (D)
House District 92
8 Day Report: $4,829
Total Donations: $124,365
Campaign Loans: $19,700
Cash on Hand: $73,899
Suleman Lalani (D)
House District 26
8 Day Report: $1,400
Total Donations: $51,171
Campaign Loans: $90.000
Cash on Hand: $73,463
Josh Wallenstein (D)
House District 138
8 Day Report: $16,518
Total Donations: $114,734
Campaign Loans: $15,000
Cash on Hand: $5,521
Claudia Perez (D)
House District 76
8 Day Report: $58,710
Total Donations: $135,780
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $36,630
Elisa Tamayo (D)
House District 76
8 Day Report: $62,408
Total Donations: $125,116
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $35,548
Ro'Vin Garrett (R)
House District 25
8 Day Report: $43,016
Total Donations:$87,015
Campaign Loans: $13,136
Cash on Hand: $8,186
Cody Vasut (R)
House District 25
8 Day Report: $55,534
Total Donations: $83,500
Campaign Loans: $100
Cash on Hand: $29,243
Akilah Bacy (D)
House District 138
8 Day Report: $7,764
Total Donations: $67,995
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $30,821
Rowland Garza (D)
House District 74
8 Day Report: $26,150
Total Donations: $66,189
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $13,818
Steve Riddell (D)
House District 92
8 Day Report: $7,283
Total Donations: $61,837
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $0
Matt Morgan (R)
House District 26
8 Day Report: $11,992
Total Donations: $33,572
Campaign Loans: $9,615
Cash on Hand: $5,324
Lawrence Allen (D)
House District 26
30 Day Report: $450
Total Donations: $21,162
Campaign Loans: $11,000
Cash on Hand: $4,100
Ramsey Cantu (D)
House District 74
8 Day Report: $11,475
Total Donations: $19,570
Campaign Loans: $12,000
Cash on Hand: $7,093
Liz Campos (D)
House District 119
8 Day Report: $13,858
Total Donations: $18,746
Campaign Loans: $10,,000
Cash on Hand: $1,432
Claver Kamau-Imani (R)
House District 138
8 Day Report: $4,562
Total Donations:$27,439
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $7,903
Jennifer Ramos (D)
House District 119
8 Day Report: $11,615
Total Donations: $27,093
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $3,670
Josh Flynn (R)
House District 138
8 Day Report: $3,170
Total Donations $23,750
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $13,889
Laquitta DeMerchant (D)
House District 26
8 Day Report: $2,728
Total Donations: $22,156
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $728
Kellye SoRelle (R)
House District 60
8 Day Report: $0
Total Donations: $14,187
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $294
Sean Villasana (D)
House District 119
8 Day Report: $2,270
Total Donations: $8,820
Campaign Loans: $3,000
Cash on Hand: $316
Christopher Perricone (R)
House District 60
8 Day Report: $500
Total Donations: $1,260
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $1,260
HOUSE CHALLENGERS
Shawn Terry (D)
House District 108
8 Day Report: $15,325
Total Donations: $407,695
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $20,703
Ann Johnson (D)
House District 134
8 Day Report: $18,897
Total Donations: $242,740
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $62,268
Carrie Isaac (R)
House District 45
8 Day Report: $59,430
Total Donations: $217,999
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $50,968
Joanna Cattanach (D)
House District 108
8 Day Report: $29,010
Total Donations: $176,421
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $10,789
Angelica Garcia (R)
House District 132
8 Day Report: $136,078
Total Donations: $175,718
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $11,319
Elizabeth Beck (D)
House District 97
8 Day Report: $17,363
Total Donations: $154,824
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $63,309
Bud Wymore (R)
House District 45
8 Day Report: $25,097
Total Donations: $150,292
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $36,130
Jenny Forgey (R)
House District 47
8 Day Report: $15,927
Total Donations: $148,932
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $61,993
Linda Koop (R)
House District 102
8 Day Report: $39,550
Total Donations: $138,493
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $40,941
Aimee Lopez (D)
House District 66
8 Day Report: $6,395
Total Donations: $28,275
Campaign Loans: $105,000
Cash on Hand: $27,028
Kronda Themisch (R)
House District 65
8 Day Report: $64,552
Total Donations: $126,305
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $68,202
Manish Seth (R)
House District 27
8 Day Report: $29,019
Total Donations: $104,670
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $29,398
Lanny Bose (D)
House District 134
8 Day Report: $34,301
Total Donations: $98,079
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $17,387
Don Zimmerman (R)
House District 47
8 Day Report: $5,500
Total Donations: $87,627
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $16,938
Celina Montoya (D)
House District 121
8 Day Report: $6,198
Total Donations: $84,842
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $9,260
Justin Berry (R)
House District 47
8 Day Report: $35,843
Total Donations: $80,143
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $15,197
Tom Ervin (D)
House District 108
8 Day Report: $6,553
Total Donations: $76,567
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $32,967
Tom Adair (D)
House District 67
8 Day Report: $3,296
Total Donations: $48,749
Campaign Loans: $25,000
Cash on Hand: $23,743
Sharon Hirsch (D)
House District 66
8 Day Report: $9,192
Total Donations: $73,255
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $18,766
Rocio Hernandez (D)
House District 67
8 Day Report: $24,455
Total Donations: $65,615
Campaign Loans: $10,000
Cash on Hand: $9,400
Mike Schofield (R)
House District 132
8 Day Report: $33,704
Total Donations: $64,304
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $132,262
Nancy Cline (R)
House District 65
8 Day Report: $8,500
Total Donations: $15,275
Campaign Loans: $38,000
Cash on Hand: $2,266
Becca DeFelice (D)
House District 121
8 Day Report: $11,818
Total Donations: $52,826
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $7,442
Aaron Reitz (R)
House District 47
8 Day Report: $7,200
Total Donations: $49,572
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $13,475
Anthony Lo (D)
House District 67
8 Day Report: $1,350
Total Donations: $28,872
Campaign Loans: $5,577
Cash on Hand: $1,350
Ruby Powers (D)
House District 134
8 Day Report: $6,025
Total Donations: $33,957
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $2,433
Austin Talley (R)
House District 45
8 Day Report: $1,925
Total Donations: $14,300
Campaign Loans: $19,600
Cash on Hand: $1,020
Jenna Royal (D)
House District 67
30 Day Report: $27,529
Total Donations: $27,529
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $0
Jack Guerra (D)
House District 121
8 Day Report: $0
Total Spending: $26,766
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $8,595
Dan Willis (D)
House District 97
8 Day Report: $0
Total Donations: $0
Campaign Loans: $5,000
Cash on Hand: $0
Tom Virippan (R)
House District 27
8 Day Report: $1,750
Total Donations: $3,750
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $2,689
 
Texas House Primary Races
to Watch - Open Contests

Ranked on Projected Finish
1

House District 92 - GOP
Jeff Cason
Jim Griffin

2

House District 60 - GOP
Jon Francis
Glenn Rogers

3

House District 10 - GOP
Jake Ellzey
Ryan Pitts

4

House District 25 - GOP
Troy Brimage
Ro'Vin Garrett

Rhonda Seth

Cody Vasut

5

House District 76 - Dem
Claudia Perez
Elisa Tamayo

6

House District 74 - Dem
Eddie Morales Jr.
Rowland Garcia
Ramsey Cantu

7

House District 138 - Dem
Josh Wallenstein
Akilah Bacy

8

House District 26 - Dem
Rish Oberoi

Lawrence Allen
Suleman Lalani

9

House District 92 - Dem
Jeff Whitfield
Steve Riddell

10

House District 138 - GOP
Lacey Hull
Claver Kamau-Imani
Josh Flynn

11

House District 26 - GOP
Jacey Jetton
Matt Morgan

12

House District 119 - Dem
Jennifer Ramos
Liz Campos
Sean Villasana

Texas House Primary Races
to Watch - Fall Challengers

Ranked on Projected Finish
1

House District 132 - GOP
Mike Schofield
Angelica Garcia

2

House District 108 - Dem
Joanna Cattanach
Shawn Terry
Tom Ervin

3

House District 47 - GOP
Jenny Forgey
Aaron Reitz
Don Zimmerman

Jennifer Fleck

4

House District 121- Dem
Celina Montoya
Becca DeFelice

5

House District 45 - GOP
Carrie Isaac
Bud Wymore

6

House District 66 - Dem
Aimee Lopez
Sharon Hirsch

7

House District 67 - Dem
Tom Adair
Rocio Hernandez

8

House District 134 - Dem
Ann Johnson
Lanny Bose
Ruby Powers

9

House District 65 - GOP
Kronda Thimesch
Nancy Cline

10

House District 102 - GOP
Linda Koop
Ricky Walker

11

House District 135 - GOP
Justin Ray
Merrilee Beazley

12

House District 97 - Dem
Elizabeth Beck
Dan Willis

13

Senate District 11 - Dem
Susan Criss
Margarita Ruiz Johnson

14

House District 27 - Dem
Manish Seth
Tom Virippan

15

House District 126 - Dem
Natali Hurtado
Undrai Fizer

16

Senate District 12 - Dem
Shadi Zitoon
Randy Daniels

17

House District 14 - Dem
Janet Dudding
Raza Rahman

18

House District 74 - GOP
Ruben Falcon
Robert Garza

19

House District 89 - Dem
Sugar Ray Ash
Jon Cocks

20

House District 128 - Dem
Josh Markle
Mary Williams

 

 

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