February 27, 2020

Biden Comes Back to Life as Hegar Leads Senate Pack
and Cuellar Tries to Hang On while Wall Tops Money List

Texas Primary Fundraising 2020

By Mike Hailey

The Democratic presidential contest in Texas is truly too close to call heading into the final weekend before the Super Tuesday primary election when Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg all appear to have shots at crossing the finish line first in a Lone Star State that's a delegate gold mine.

But the Democratic competition for the U.S. Senate in Texas is more of a mystery with MJ Hegar poised to score a ticket to a primary runoff that at least three other Democrats appear to have a chance to make in a battle to see who gets to play David in a fall clash with U.S. Senator John Cornyn as the Goliath for the GOP here in 2020.

The Democrats' fights for the White House and U.S. Senate are the obvious choices for the top two spots on the Capitol Inside Texas Races to Watch for federal offices in the closing stretch before Super Tuesday. But the highest-ranked primary battle that won't be determined in a statewide vote can be found on the Democratic ballot as well with a high-stakes duel that pits veteran U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Laredo against a heavily-armed challenger in Jessica Cisneros.

Cisneros has been a darling of progressives with strong support from organized labor in a South Texas district where she raised $350,000 in the first six weeks of 2020 when Cuellar raked in less than a quarter million dollars for a fight with a primary foe who's dubbed the incumbent as President Donald Trump's favorite Democrat. While Cisneros has marquee names on the left like U.S. Rep. . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York in her camp, Cuellar has thrown a wrench into the challenger's hopes for a historic upset with House Speaker Nanci Pelosi actively campaigning on his behalf. The combined price tag for the Democratic showdown in Congressional District 28 had eclipsed $3 million by the end of the last reporting period two weeks ago.

Houston Republican Kathaleen Wall vaulted to the crowning spot on the Texas congressional primary fundraising chart with a $1.7 million haul in the first six weeks of the year that pushed her total take for the Congressional District 22 race to almost $3.3 million since the start of 2019. But Wall has been her own biggest donor by far while reporting personal money that's spent on the current U.S. House race as contributions instead of campaign loans.

Wall faces a major primary rival whose name is worth an immeasurable sum with Pierce Bush competing for a runoff spot in a field that includes Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls and Greg Hill as a former Pearland city councilman who's served as a county court at law judge as well.

Republicans Genevieve Collins of Dallas and Wesley Hunt of Houston appear to be on track for first-place finishes next week in battles that could be destined for overtime in top 10 races for seats that Democratic U.S. Reps. Collin Allred and Lizzie Panill Fletcher flipped from red to blue in 2018.

Democrats Gina Ortiz Jones of San Antonio and Sri Preston Kulkarni of Sugar Land have appeared to have significant advantages over primary opponents in open races that the GOP controls and hopes to protect in the general election in top-target contests for the Texas minority party. Austin Democrat Wendy Davis - a former state senator and gubernatorial nominee - expects to put a primary opponent's campaign to rest with a blowout victory next week.

But the competition could be much closer in another race that Democrats are targeting in a congressional district where Pritish Gandhi of Austin and Shannon Hutcheson of Bastrop had both rounded up more than $800,000 by February 22 in a fight for a shot at Republican U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin this fall. The Democratic nominee in the last election cycle - Mike Siegel of Austin - has corralled more than $500,000 from donors in the district that hooks Houston to the Capital City in a bid for a rematch with McCaul in November.

Republican Chris Ekstrom of Wichita Falls loaned his campaign an additional $350,000 in the past two months for an open race in Congressional District 15 where he's run on $850,000 worth of red ink. GOP hopeful Renee Swann of Waco boost her campaign with a $230,000 in loans this year in an open Congressional District 17 race in a district where George Hindman of Pflugerville appears to be one of the frontrunners in the countdown to Super Tuesday.

more to come ...

U.S. Senate
Cash Feb 12
John Cornyn (R-Inc)
U.S. Senate
Total Donations: $11,208,972
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $12,008,297
MJ Hegar (D)
U.S. Senate
Total Donations: $3,553,924
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $850,800
Royce West (D)
U.S. Senate
Total Donations: $931,621
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $307,611
 
Chris Bell (D)
U.S. Senate
Total Donations: $352,301
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $12,164
Cristina Ramirez (D)
U.S. Senate
Total Donations: $985,932
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $230,252
Annie "Mama" Garcia (D)
U.S. Senate
Total Donations: $11,883
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $3,470
U.S. House
Cash Feb 12
Kathaleen Wall (R)
Congressional District 22
Total Donations: $3,257,885
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $28,446
Gina Ortiz Jones (D)
Congressional District 23
Total Donations: $2,661,921
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $2,008,701
Kay Granger (R-Inc)
Congressional District 12
Total Donations: $2,190,574
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $704,974
Wendy Davis (D)
Congressional District 21
Total Donations: $2,181,795
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $1,314,043
Wesley Hunt (R)
Congressional District 7
Total Donations: $1,895,362
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $821,117
Henry Cuellar (D-Inc)
Congressional District 28
Total Donations: $1,746,912
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $2,041,694
August Pfluger (R)
Congressional District 11
Total Donations: $1,387,246
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $587,364
Jessica Cisneros (D)
Congressional District 28
Total Donations: $1,329,628
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $295,958
Sri Kulkarni (D)
Congressional District 22
Total Donations: $1,208,622
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $503,611
Shannon Hutcheson (D)
Congressional District 10
Total Donations: $826,530
Campaign Loans: $320,000
Cash on Hand: $228,669
Pierce Bush (R)
Congressional District 22
Total Donations: $1,088,159
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $516,770
Genevieve Collins (R)
Congressional District 32
Total Donations: $972,416
Campaign Loans: $124,400
Cash on Hand: $623,968
Chris Ekstrom (R)
Congressional District 13
Total Donations: $139,059
Campaign Loans: $850,000
Cash on Hand: $227,019
John Carter (R-Inc)
Congressional District 31
Total Donations: $979,724
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $671,857
Kim Olson (D)
Congressional District 24
Total Donations: $942,274
Campaign Loans: $24,500
Cash on Hand: $291,382
Pritesh Gandhi (D)
Congressional District 10
Total Donations: $868,862
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $93,866
Brian Babin (R-Inc)
Congressional District 36
Total Donations: $763,333
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $823,266
Beth Van Duyne (R)
Congressional District 24
Total Donations: $762,352
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $230,073
Sima Ladjevardian (D)
Congressional District 2
Total Donations: $660,852
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $388,921
Cindy Siegel (R)
Congressional District 7
Total Donations: $254,301
Campaign Loans: $358,761
Cash on Hand: $119,646
Floyd McLendon (R)
Congressional District 32
Total Donations: $617,040
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $115,129
George Hindman (R)
Congressional District 17
Total Donations: $416,827
Campaign Loans: $200,000
Cash on Hand: $41,018
Mike Siegel (D)
Congressional District 10
Total Donations: $514,785
Campaign Loans: $25,000
Cash on Hand: $151,335
Josh Winegarner (R)
Congressional District 13
Total Donations: $501,764
Campaign Loans: $900
Cash on Hand: $141,080
Renee Swann (R)
Congressional District 17
Total Donations: $87,776
Campaign Loans: $389,000
Cash on Hand: $123,570
Candace Valenzuela (D)
Congressional District 24
Total Donations: $440,117
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $68,508
 
Tony Gonzales (R)
Congressional District 23
Total Donations: $416,948
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $204,612
Sima Ladjevardian (D)
Congressional District 2
Total Donations: $407,781
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $377,746
Julie Oliver (D)
Congressional District 25
Total Donations: $386,336
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $108,730
Greg Hill (R)
Congressional District 22
Total Donations: $356,040
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $58,822
Elisa Cardnell (D)
Congressional District 2
Total Donations: $349,891
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $46,981
Sunny Chaparala (R)
Congressional District 24
Total Donations: $5,366
Campaign Loans: $321,760
Cash on Hand: $173,163
Chris Putnam (R)
Congressional District 12
Total Donations: $198,034
Campaign Loans: $124,400
Cash on Hand: $297,791
Tony Gonzales (R)
Congressional District 23
Total Donations: $320,364
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $266,841
Sean McCaffity (D)
Congressional District 3
Total Donations: $308,240
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $135,552
Troy Nehls (R)
Congressional District 22
Total Donations: $299,650
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $115,703
Elisa Cardnell (D)
Congressional District 2
Total Donations: $284,374
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $90,603
Maria Espinoza (R)
Congressional District 7
Total Donations: $29,285
Campaign Loans: $205,00
Cash on Hand: $179,279
Donna Imam (D)
Congressional District 31
Total Donations: $122,331
Campaign Loans: $100,000
Cash on Hand: $158,333
Brandon Batch (R)
Congressional District 11
Total Donations: $201,993
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $29,557
Pete Sessions (R)
Congressional District 17
Total Donations: $168,340
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $541,035
Elianor Vessali (R)
Congressional District 17
Total Donations: $274,380
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $139,888
J. Ross Lacy (R)
Congressional District 11
Total Donations: $214,714
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $61,777
Christine Mann (D)
Congressional District 31
Total Donations: $198,783
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $18,109
Heidi Sloan (D)
Congressional District 25
Total Donations: $176,663
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $79,252
Lulu Seikaly (D)
Congressional District 3
Total Donations: $170,031
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $31,504
Jon Hollis (R)
Congressional District 32
Total Donations: $162,542
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $160
Derrick Reed (D)
Congressional District 22
Total Donations: $156,856
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $21,809
Nyanza Moore (D)
Congressional District 22
Total Donations: $149,864
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $639
Raul Reyes Jr. (R)
Congressional District 23
Total Donations: $136,951
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $18,609
RJ Boatman (R)
Congressional District 36
Total Donations: $131,152
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $368,65
Jamie Berryhill (R)
Congressional District 11
Total Donations: $107,111
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $33,338
 
 

Texas Primary Races
to Watch - Federal

Competitive Potential
Projected March 3 Finish

1

President - Dem
Mike Bloomberg

Bernie Sanders

Joe Biden

Elizabeth Warren
Pete Buttigieg

2

U.S. Senate - Dem
MJ Hegar
Royce West
Cristina Ramirez

Chris Bell

Annie "Mama" Garcia
Amanda Edwards

3

Congress District 28 - Dem
Henry Cuellar (Inc)
Jessica Cisneros

4

Congress District 22 - GOP
Pierce Bush
Kathaleen Wall
Troy Nehls
Greg Hill

5

Congress District 13 - GOP
August Pfluger
J. Ross Lacy
Jamie Berryhill
Brandon Batch

6

Congress District 32 - GOP
Genevieve Collins
Floyd McLendon

7

Congress District 7 - GOP
Wesley Hunt
Cindy Siegel
Maria Espinoza

8

Congress District 10- Dem
Shannon Hutcheson
Pritesh Gandhi
Mike Siegel

9

Congress District 23 - GOP
Tony Gonzales
Raul Reyes Jr.

10

Congress District 24 - Dem
Kim Olson
Candace Valenzuela

11

Congress District 24 - GOP
Beth Van Duyne
Sunny Chaparala

12

Congress District 2 - Dem
Sima Ladjevardian
Elisa Cardnell

13

Congress District 13 - GOP
Chris Ekstrom
Josh Winegarner

14

Congress District 17 - GOP
George Hindman
Renee Swan
Pete Sessions

15

Congress District 12 - GOP
Kay Granger (Inc)
Chris Putnam

16

Congress District 22 - Dem
Sri Kulkarni
Derrick Reed
Nyanza Moore

17

Congress District 31- Dem
Donna Imam
Christine Mann
Tammy Young

18

Congress District 23 - Dem
Gina Ortiz Jones
Rosey Abuabara

19

Congress District 25 - Dem
Julie Oliver
Heidi Sloan

20

Congress District 21 - Dem
Wendy Davis
Jennie Lou Leeder

21

Congress District 3 - Dem
Sean McCaffity
Lulu Seikaly

22

Congress District 31 - GOP
John Carter (Inc)
Michael Williams

23

Congress District 36 - GOP
Brian Babin (Inc)
RJ Boatman

24

U.S. Senate - GOP
John Cornyn (Inc)
Four Challengers

25

President - GOP
Donald Trump (Inc)
Six Challengers

 

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