February 6, 2020

Bonnen Critic Ranks Second to Fracking Tycoon
in Shuffling of Money to House Hopefuls on Right

Texas House Open Primary Texas Congress Primary
Texas House Challengers Texas Senate Primary

By Mike Hailey

The three hottest open Texas House races on the GOP primary ballot next month each feature a candidate who's been bankrolled by one or more donors on a hard right that's been almost non-existent so far in 2020 after a decade of ferocious battles with the relatively moderate party establishment.

Unlike the Republicans - the three open contests that appear to be the most competitive across the aisle in round one are unfolding in districts that Democrats have been planning to target in a bid to take the majority back in the Capitol's west wing this fall.

Only one of the Democratic primary fights in open hit list races has no potential for overtime in a district where one of the Republicans could have the inside lane after raising a quarter-million dollars with all of the only three major conservative contributors in Texas in the current election cycle responsible for most of it.

Cisco Republican Jon Francis has been the leading fundraiser on either side of the aisle in a highly-competitive primary fight with a campaign that made up for a late start with an infusion of family money as the son-in-law of fracking billionaire and mega-donor Farris Wilks. But the massive advantage could become less significant on a battlefield where money has a diminishing value in a district where primary rival Glenn Rogers has had raised an ample amount from supporters to compete with the Wilks candidate.

Freeport Mayor Troy Brimage ranks second behind Francis in fundraising for open House races this year a $50,000 loan and contributions of almost $243,000 including nearly $193,000 in the first three weeks in January. But Brimage has opposition on the right with Lake Jackson Republican Rhonda Seth generating almost $189,000 from supporters including a six-digit sum from conservative activist Darlene Pendery of Flower Mound.

Angleton Republican Ro'Vin Garrett has had substantially less to spend on the House District 25 race as Brimage and Seth. But Garrett is already a well-known political commodity as the longtime tax assessor-collector in Brazoria County where GOP Speaker Dennis Bonnen is based and isn't running again after an entanglement in a targeting scheme gone awry.

Seth has depended heavily on Pendery for funding after planning initially to run against Bonnen before he dropped out of the race. Pendery contributed more than $10,000 last summer to a political committee action committee called the Boot Bonnen PAC as one of two donors. Bonnen had accused Pendery last spring of staging an ambush at a GOP fundraiser when the speaker crossed paths with a gun rights advocate who'd ventured into his coastal neighborhood to protest the constitutional carry bill's death by neglect in the House.

Pendery has contributed almost $88,000 to Republican James Trombley in a bid to unseat State Rep. Jared Patterson of Frisco in round one next month. Pendery, an investor who's accounted for 90 percent of Trombley's funding in a fight closer to home, donated $25,000 last month to Bedford Republican Jeff Cason - a former city councilman who's run to the right in an open race for the House District 92 seat that Democrats are ostensibly targeting this fall.

Cason has raised almost $244,000 from contributors like Empower Texans financier Tim Dunn and Wilks in a district where a former Bedford mayor in Jim Griffin appears to be the chief primary competitor.

House contenders Jeff Whitfield of Euless and Josh Wallenstein of Houston had been the leading fundraisers in Democratic primary fights in open races in districts where the minority party has shots to win in November. Sugar Land Democrats Suleman Lalani and Rich Oberoi have both raised six-figure sums for a primary battle that includes 2018 nominee Laquitta DeMerchant and Lawrence "Skully" Allen - a State Board of Education member whose mother is State Rep. Alma Allen of Houston.

Eagle Pass Democrat Eddie Morales Jr. has had a substantial advantage in campaign cash in an open House District 74 race thanks in large part to a $150,000 loan that got his bid off the ground last year.

Texas House Primary
Open Race Fundraising
Jon Francis (R)
House District 60
30-Day Report: $16,275
Total Donations: $626,292
Campaign Loans: $40,936
Cash on Hand: $341,389
Troy Brimage (R)
House District 25
30 Day Report: $192,650
Total Donations: $242,850
Campaign Loans: $50,000
Cash on Hand: $62,275
Jeff Cason (R)
House District 92
30-Day Report: $180,722
Total Donations: $243,805
Campaign Loans: $5,000
Cash on Hand: $119,245
Glenn Rogers (R)
House District 60
30-day Report: $57,678
Total Donations: $161,904
Campaign Loans: $50,100
Cash on Hand: $93,302
Ryan Pitts (R)
House District 10
30 Day Report: $21,335
Total Donations: $197,281
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $45,968
Rhonda Seth (R)
House District 25
30 Day Report: $58,275
Total Donations:$188,648
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $25,204
Eddie Morales Jr. (D)
House District 74
30 Day Report: $15,000
Total Donations: $20,600
Campaign Loans: $150,000
Cash on Hand: $65,116
Jeff Whitfield (D)
House District 92
30 Day Report: $4,400
Total Donations: $119,536
Campaign Loans: $19,700
Cash on Hand: $120,303
Suleman Lalani (D)
House District 26
30 Day Report: $8,775
Total Donations: $49,771
Campaign Loans: $90.000
Cash on Hand: $86,041
Jake Ellzey (R)
House District 10
30 Day Report: $15,275
Total Donations: $119,108
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $21,426
Josh Wallenstein (D)
House District 138
30 Day Report: $1,915
Total Donations: $98,216
Campaign Loans: $15,000
Cash on Hand: $54,951
Jacey Jetton (R)
House District 26
30 Day Report: $27,140
Total Donations: $80,621
Campaign Loans: $30,000
Cash on Hand: $71,652
Rish Oberoi (D)
House District 26
30 Day Report: $5,027
Total Donations: $85,967
Campaign Loans: $20,000
Cash on Hand: $49,976
Jim Griffin (R)
House District 92
30-Day Report: $9,505
Total Donations: $39,927
Campaign Loans: $50,000
Cash on Hand: $21,971
Claudia Perez (D)
House District 76
30 Day Report: $13,125
Total Donations: $77,070
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $19,019
Elisa Tamayo (D)
House District 76
30 Day Report: $32,880
Total Donations: $62,708
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $33,432
Akilah Bacy (D)
House District 138
30 Day Report: $10,423
Total Donations: $60,231
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $35,359
Ro'Vin Garrett (R)
House District 25
30 Day Report: $2,867
Total Donations:$43,999
Campaign Loans: $13,136
Cash on Hand: $11,836
 
Steve Riddell (D)
House District 92
30 Day Report: $2,192
Total Donations: $54,554
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $17,581
Lacey Hull (R)
House District 138
30 Day Report: $1,966
Total Donations: $52,052
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $44,477
Rowland Garza (D)
House District 74
30 Day Report: $10,975
Total Donations: $40,039
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $5,924
Lawrence Allen (D)
House District 26
30 Day Report: $450
Total Donations: $21,162
Campaign Loans: $11,000
Cash on Hand: $4,100
Cody Vasut (R)
House District 25
30 Day Report: $4,316
Total Donations: $27,966
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $10,030
Matt Morgan (R)
House District 26
30 Day Report: $2,550
Total Donations: $21,580
Campaign Loans: $2,915
Cash on Hand: $5,324
Claver Kamau-Imani (R)
House District 138
30 Day Report: $3,997
Total Donations:$22,877
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $18,139
Josh Flynn (R)
House District 138
30 Day Report: $8,500
Total Donations $20,580
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $17,051
Ramsey Cantu (D)
House District 74
30 Day Report: $5,500
Total Donations: $8,095
Campaign Loans: $5,000
Cash on Hand: $7,093
Laquitta DeMerchant (D)
House District 26
30 Day Report: $2,125
Total Donations: $19,428
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $1,376
Kellye SoRelle (R)
House District 60
30-Day Report: $760
Total Donations: $14,187
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $1,191
Leonard Chan (R)
House District 26
30 Day Report: $2,763
Total Donations: $10,623
Campaign Loans: $1,500
Cash on Hand: $2,620
Taylor Gillig (R)
House District 92
30-Day Report: $1,000
Total Donations: $3,780
Campaign Loans: $6,000
Cash on Hand: $2,559
Jennifer Ramos (D)
House District 119
30 Day Report: $7,390
Total Donations: $15,478
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $633
Sean Villasana (D)
House District 119
30 Day Report: $1,000
Total Donations: $6,550
Campaign Loans: $3,000
Cash on Hand: $147
Liz Campos (D)
House District 119
30 Day Report: $3,330
Total Donations: $3,500
Campaign Loans: $5,000
Cash on Hand: $2,196
Ruben Falcon (R)
House District 74
30 Day Report: $0
Total Donations: $3,000
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $1,289
Christopher Perricone (R)
House District 60
30-Day Report: $760
Total Donations: $760
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $175
Texas House Challengers
Primary Fundraising
Shawn Terry (D)
House District 108
30 Day Report: $3,645
Total Donations: $392,370
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $143,064
Ann Johnson (D)
House District 134
30 Day Report: $34,911
Total Donations: $223,843
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $145,407
Carrie Isaac (R)
House District 45
30 Day Report: $4,325
Total Donations: $158,569
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $83,186
Joanna Cattanach (D)
House District 108
30 Day Report: $2,463
Total Donations: $147,411
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $50,924
Elizabeth Beck (D)
House District 97
30 Day Report: $32,168
Total Donations: $137,461
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $83,997
Jenny Forgey (R)
House District 47
30 Day Report: $17,960
Total Donations: $133,005
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $61,993
Aimee Lopez (D)
House District 66
30 Day Report: $1,526
Total Donations: $21,880
Campaign Loans: $105,000
Cash on Hand: $101,057
Bud Wymore (R)
House District 45
30 Day Report: $5,195
Total Donations: $125,195
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $85,323
Linda Koop (R)
House District 102
30 Day Report: $7,762
Total Donations: $98,943
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $47,538
Don Zimmerman (R)
House District 47
30 Day Report: $3,587
Total Donations: $82,127
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $53,512
Celina Montoya (D)
House District 121
30 Day Report: $3,260
Total Donations: $78,644
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $29,128
Tom Ervin (D)
House District 108
30 Day Report: $1,636
Total Donations: $70,014
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $30,539
Tom Adair (D)
House District 67
30 Day Report: $2,457
Total Donations: $45,493
Campaign Loans: $25,000
Cash on Hand: $30,405
Sharon Hirsch (D)
House District 66
30 Day Report: $10,823
Total Donations: $64.063
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $45,261
 
Lanny Bose (D)
House District 134
30 Day Report: $9,205
Total Donations: $63,778
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $45,464
Kronda Themisch (R)
House District 65
30 Day Report: $4,115
Total Donations: $61,753
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $46,855
Nancy Cline (R)
House District 65
30 Day Report: $2,320
Total Donations: $6,775
Campaign Loans: $38,000
Cash on Hand: $2,266
Justin Berry (R)
House District 47
30 Day Report: $1,383
Total Donations: $44,300
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $6,432
Aaron Reitz (R)
House District 47
30 Day Report: $2,925
Total Donations: $42,372
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $21,827
Angelica Garcia (R)
House District 132
30 Day Report: $11,595
Total Donations: $39,640
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $3,501
Mike Schofield (R)
House District 132
30 Day Report: $3,200
Total Donations: $30,600
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $129,715
Rocio Hernandez (D)
House District 67
30 Day Report: $2,570
Total Donations: $41,160
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $9,400
Becca DeFelice (D)
House District 121
30 Day Report: $7,852
Total Donations: $41,008
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $21,749
Anthony Lo (D)
House District 67
30 Day Report: $25
Total Donations: $27,522
Campaign Loans: $5,577
Cash on Hand: $7,370
Ruby Powers (D)
House District 134
30 Day Report: $3,473
Total Donations: $27,932
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $17,776
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
30 Day Report: $0
Total Spending: $26,766
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $8,020

 

 
Texas House Primary Races
to Watch - Open Republican

Candidates Ranked on Cash
1

House District 60
Jon Francis
Glenn Rogers
Kellye SoRelle

Chris Perricone

2

House District 25
Troy Brimage
Rhonda Seth
Ro'Vin Garrett

Cody Vasut
Mitch Thames

3

House District 92
Jeff Cason
Jim Griffin
Taylor Gillig

4

House District 10
Ryan Pitts
Jake Ellzey
Zack Rader

5

House District 138
Lacey Hull
Josh Flynn
Claver Kamau-Imani

6

House District 26
Jacey Jetton
Matt Morgan
Leonard Chan

Texas House Primary Races
to Watch - Open Democrat
1

House District 26
Suleman Lalani
Rish Oberoi

Lawrence Allen
Laquitta DeMerchant

2

House District 92
Jeff Whitfield
Steve Riddell

3

House District 138
Josh Wallenstein
Akilah Bacy

Jennifer Rene Pool

4

House District 74
Eddie Morales Jr.
Rowland Garcia
Ramsey Cantu

5

House District 76
Claudia Perez
Elisa Tamayo

6

House District 119
Jennifer Ramos
Sean Villasana
Liz Campos

Texas House Primary Races
to Watch - Challengers
1

House District 108 - Dem
Shawn Terry

Joanna Cattanach
Tom Ervin

2

House District 45 - GOP
Carrie Isaac
Bud Wymore

Austin Talley

3

House District 47 - GOP
Jenny Forgey
Don Zimmerman
Justin Berry

Aaron Reitz

Jennifer Fleck

4

House District 134 - Dem
Ann Johnson
Lanny Bose
Ruby Powers

5

House District 66 - Dem
Aimee Lopez
Sharon Hirsch

6

House District 67 - Dem
Tom Adair
Rocio Hernandez
Anthony Lo

Jenna Royal

7

House District 132 - GOP
Angelica Garcia
Mike Schofield

8

House District 65 - GOP
Kronda Thimesch
Nancy Cline

9

House District 102 - GOP
Linda Koop
Ricky Walker

10

House District 97 - Dem
Elizabeth Beck
Dan Willis

 

 

 

 

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