February 6, 2020

Veteran House Dem and GOP Colleague Pair Face
Foes Who've Had More Cash for Primary Battles

Texas House Primary Dems Texas House Primary Open Texas Congress Primary
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By Mike Hailey

The potential for turnover in the Texas House in the 2020 primary election appears to be uncharacteristically slim with a couple of Democrats and a pair of Republicans in possible peril in the face of opposition from challengers who've had more money to spend or other causes for optimism.

GOP State Rep. J.D. Sheffield of Gatesville could be at risk in a bid for a fifth term in a Central Texas district where primary foe Cody Johnson has fueled his campaign for the House District 59 seat with almost $1.2 million in red ink after loaning it $800,000 more last month.

Veteran Republican State Rep. Dan Flynn of Van faces a first-round threat that won't seem to go away in a northeast Texas district where Bryan Slaton surpassed him in the donor dollar count late last month with two $75,000 contributions from Farris Wilks and Tim Dunn - a pair of West Texas energy magnates who've bankrolled the tea party here for most of the past decade.

Slaton has come close in two previous primary fights with Flynn - having lost by less than 2 percentage points in 2016 before the incumbent beat him by more than 3 points two years later. Ben Wheeler Republican Dwayne "Doc" Collins could garner a sufficient amount of support in the March 3 primary vote to send the House District 2 race into overtime with a shot himself at one of the two runoff spots raising enough cash through donations and loans to be taken seriously.

Longtime State Rep. Harold Dutton of Houston appears to be the most vulnerable incumbent across the aisle in a district where term-limited City Council member Jerry Davis has rounded up more than twice as much money from contributors as the incumbent for a first-round showdown in House District 142.

The second-longest serving Democrat in a lower chamber that he entered 35 years ago, Dutton could be forced into OT as well with two other token opponents who haven't had any money also on the primary ballot next month. Dutton stepped his fundraising efforts some last month when he received almost $34,000 from donors to push his total contribution tally past the $62,000 mark.

But Davis had raised substantially more than any other Democratic primary challenger in the Lone Star State with contributions of more than $155,000 since his emergence in the ring as Dutton's first serious test at the polls in years if not decades.

Several other Democratic primary fights in House districts on the border could have some competitive potential despite substantial campaign cash advantages that incumbents who are running as significant favorites have enjoyed up to now. Rio Grande Valley Democrats Erin Gamez and Richard Gonzales have both established themselves as credible challengers with nearly $50,000 apiece with a blend of donations and loans in bids for seats that State Reps. Eddie Lucio III of Brownsville and Bobby Guerra of Mission are seeking again in 2020.

But another primary battle that features a pair of Brownsville Democrats in State Rep. Alex Dominguez and former Cameron County party chair Amber Medina could be the closest first-round in the state's most heavily Democratic region based on the money flow and other circumstances surrounding it.

Dominguez is a freshman representative who's had about $30,000 more to spend on round one so far in House District 37 than Medina. But Medina is well-known among the Democratic base in the areas that she wants to represent in Austin as a former local party leader who was in the headlines frequently. .

Medina scored an endorsement that's worth an immeasurable amount when the Texas AFL-CIO rallied behind her campaign as the only candidate that the labor organization has voted to back in a primary fight with an incumbent this year.

Guerra appeared to be in some degree of jeopardy with Gonzales as a primary opponent who's a former municipal judge in Edcouch near his current base in Edinburg. But Guerra has been the most heavily-armed House Democrat with primary competition in 2020 after loaning his campaign $300,000 in three installments in the past six months.

A couple of other Democratic primary challengers who'd appeared to have potential in the early stages of South Texas House bids after falling fairly far behind State Reps. Tracy King of Uvalde and Sergio Munoz of Mission in border area battles.

Johnson - a western wear company owner who's based in Stephenville - entered the final week of January with nearly $829,000 in the campaign bank. Sheffield had about one dollar in cash on hand for every nine that Johnson had socked away a month before the votes are cast in round one after raising $151,000 in the past 13 months for a re-election race that could be destined for a primary runoff with Shelby Slawson of Stephenville as an initial obstacle as well.

Johnson and Slawson have reported contributions of $107,000 and $47,000 since taking aim at Sheffield last year in a battle for a seat that he won initially in 2012 after knocking current Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller out of the House in the primary election that year. Slawson had supplement the cash that she's raised from supporters with a $50,000 loan.

 

DEMOCRATS
Bobby Guerra (D-Inc)
House District 41
30 Day Report: $3,227
Total Donations: $84,516
Campaign Loans: $300,000
Cash on Hand: $114,795
Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Inc)
House District 142
30 Day Report: $24,239
Total Donations: $295,327
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $127,621
Trey Martinez Fischer (D-Inc)
House District 116
30 Day Report: $6,000
Total Donations: $259,400
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $165,953
Tracy King (D-Inc)
House District 80
30 Day Report: $16,848
Total Donations: $181,725
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $277,180
Jerry Davis (D)
House District 142
30 Day Report: $15,650
Total Donations: $155,215
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $109,025
Senfronia Thompson (D-Inc)
House District 141
30 Day Report: $28,150
Total Donations: $137,366
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $885,528
Erin Zwiener (D-Inc)
House District 45
30 Day Report: $7,829
Total Donations: $136,554
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $83,178
Garnet Coleman (D-Inc)
House District 137
30 Day Report: $1,250
Total Donations: $99,240
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $114,795
Sergio Munoz (D-Inc)
House District 36
30 Day Report: $27,679
Total Donations: $95,896
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $244,834
Michelle Beckley (D-Inc)
House District 65
30 Day Report: $15,576
Total Donations: $94,746
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $35,282
Alex Dominguez (D-Inc)
House District 37
30 Day Report: $18,500
Total Donations: $75,250
Campaign Loans: $8,000
Cash on Hand: $12,369
Ron Reynolds (D-Inc)
House District 27
30 Day Report: $4,555
Total Donations: $26,209
Campaign Loans: $7,600
Cash on Hand: $,902
Harold Dutton (D-Inc)
House District 142
30 Day Report: $33,602
Total Donations: $62,478
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $58,111
Amber Medina (D)
House District 37
30 Day Report: $8,300
Total Donations: $27,340
Campaign Loans: $19,666
Cash on Hand: $8,191
Richard Gonzales (D)
House District 41
30 Day Report: $3,500
Total Donations: $12,550
Campaign Loans: $33,000
Cash on Hand: $32,249
 
Elvonte Patton (D)
House District 131
30 Day Report: $194
Total Donations: $43,269
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $10,194
Erin Gamez (D)
House District 38
30 Day Report: $10,354
Total Donations: $17,354
Campaign Loans: $18,000
Cash on Hand: $3,114
Jarvis Johnson (D-Inc)
House District 139
30 Day Report: $17,500
Total Donations: $29,775
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $38,746
Shawn Thierry (D-Inc)
House District 146
30 Day Report: $9,500
Total Donations: $27,031
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $8,674
Danny Valdez (D)
House District 80
30 Day Report: $5,021
Total Donations: $21,198
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $0
Paige Dixon (D)
House District 65
30 Day Report: $210
Total Donations: $17,585
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $917
Abraham Padron (D)
House District 36
Jan 15 Report: $8,678
Total Donations: $16,860
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $17,624
Alma Allen (D-Inc)
House District 131
30 Day Report: $3,750
Total Donations: $14,850
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $27,243
Angeanette Thibodeaux (D)
House District 27
30 Day Report: $7,000
Total Donations: $7,000
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $4,931
Aurelia Wagner (D)
House District 147
30 Day Report: $5,239
Total Donations: $5,239
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $1,248
Ashton Woods (D)
House District 146
30 Day Report: $885
Total Donations: $2,370
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $460
Byron Ross (D)
House District 27
30 Day Report: $760
Total Donations: $1,505
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $26
Evan Bohl (D)
House District 116
30 Day Report: $1,060
Total Donations: $1,060
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $1,916
Willie Franklyn (D)
House District 141
30 Day Report: $0
Total Donations: $0
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $1,806
Liliana Posada (D)
House District 45
30 Day Report: $0
Total Donations: $0
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $0
REPUBLICANS
Cody Johnson (R)
House District 59
30 Day Report: $8,652
Total Donations: $107,058
Campaign Loans: $1,165,000
Cash on Hand: $828,663
Chris Paddie (R-Inc)
House District 9
30 Day Report: $47,225
Total Donations: $376,797
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $306,441
Dan Huberty (R-Inc)
House District 127
30 Day Report: $50,950
Total Donations: $215,375
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $130,245
Drew Darby (R-Inc)
House District 72
30 Day Report: $30,514
Total Donations: $198,089
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $875,629
Briscoe Cain (R-Inc)
House District 128
30 Day Report: $40,960
Total Donations: $184,508
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $112,721
Jared Patterson (R-Inc)
House District 106
30 Day Report: $40,955
Total Donations: $179,751
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $138,733
Bryan Slaton (R)
House District 2
30 Day Report: $151,179
Total Donations: $156,137
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $146,688
Dan Flynn (R-Inc)
House District 2
30 Day Report: $49,921
Total Donations: $151,469
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $31,651
J.D. Sheffield (R-Inc)
House District 59
30 Day Report: $37,220
Total Donations: $151,016
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $92,382
Dennis Paul (R-Inc)
House District 129
30 Day Report: $24,178
Total Donations: $91,096
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $102,733
 
Geanie Morrison (R-Inc)
House District 30
30 Day Report: $30,221
Total Donations: $116,557
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $288,593
James Trombley (R)
House District 106
30 Day Report: $51,271
Total Donations: $96,855
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $52,090
Shelby Slawson (R)
House District 59
30 Day Report: $12,960
Total Donations: $46,720
Campaign Loans: $50,000
Cash on Hand: $49,978
Dwayne Collins (R)
House District 2
30 Day Report: $4,610
Total Donations: $13,510
Campaign Loans: $25,000
Cash on Hand: $15,491
Bob Hoskins (R)
House District 128
30 Day Report: $16,320
Total Donations: $20,895
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $19,646
Ryan Lee (R)
House District 129
30 Day Report: $2,725
Total Donations: $13,445
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $8,374
Mark Williams (R)
House District 9
30 Day Report: $7,418
Total Donations: $2,500
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $2,500
Vanessa Hicks-Callaway (R)
House District 30
30 Day Report: $600
Total Donations: $1,714
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $117
Lynette Lucas (R)
House District 72
30 Day Report: $50
Total Donations: $315
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $1,883
Source: Texas Ethics
Commission

 

 
Texas House Primary Races
to Watch - DEM Incumbents
1

House District 142
Harold Dutton (Inc)
Jerry Davis

Richard Bonton

Natasha Ruiz

2

House District 37
Alex Dominguez (Inc)
Amber Medina

3

House District 38
Eddie Lucio III (Inc)
Erin Gamez

4

House District 41
Bobby Guerra (Inc)
Richard Gonzales

5

House District 80
Tracy King (Inc)
Danny Valdez

6

House District 36
Sergio Munoz Jr. (Inc)
Abraham Padron

7

House District 131
Alma Allen (Inc)
Carey Lashley
Deondre Moore
Elvonte Patton

8

House District 65
Michelle Beckley (Inc)
Paige Dixon

9

House District 45
Erin Zwiener (Inc)
Liliana Posada

10

House District 27
Ron Reynolds (Inc)
Byron Ross

11

House District 139
Jarvis Johnson (Inc)
Angeanette Thibodeaux

12

House District 146
Shawn Thierry (Inc)
Ashton Woods

13

House District 147
Garnet Coleman (Inc)
Colin Ross
Aurelia Wagner

14

House District 139
Trey Martinez Fischer (Inc)
Evan Bohl

15

House District 141
Senfronia Thompson (Inc)
Willie Roaches Franklyn

Texas House Primary Races
to Watch - GOP Incumbents
1

House District 59
J.D. Sheffield (Inc)
Cody Johnson

Shelby Slawson

2

House District 2
Dan Flynn (Inc)
Dwayne Collins

Bryan Slaton

3

House District 128
Briscoe Cain (Inc)
Bob Hoskins

4

House District 106
Jared Patterson (Inc)
James Trombley

5

House District 9
Chris Paddie (Inc)
Mark Williams

6

House District 129
Dennis Paul (Inc)
Ryan Lee

7

House District 30
Geanie Morrison (Inc)
Vanessa Hicks-Callaway

8

House District 85
Phil Stephenson (Inc)
Abolaji Tijani Ayobami
Robert Boettcher

9

House District 72
Drew Darby (Inc)
Lynette Lucas

10

House District 127
Dan Huberty (Inc)
Dwight Ford

 

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