February 19, 2020

Houston Primary Battle Gets Ballistic and Personal
as Hottest Open House Contest on Primary Ballot

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

By Mike Hailey

An unholy war has erupted among conservatives in the most critical Texas House contest on the March primary ballot in a district where a candidate who's running as The Apostle dragged former Speaker Joe Straus into the fight on Wednesday in an attempt to tarnish a frontrunning rival.

Houston hopeful Claver Kamau-Imani has single-handedly propelled the GOP battle in House District 138 to the crowning spot on the Capitol Inside Races to Watch in open round one fights with one of the most rhetorically creative and bombastic campaigns in Texas political history in a district at the top of the Democrats target list in 2020.

Kamau-Imani has been on a tear with his eye on a spot in a spring runoff - having unleashed a blistering barrage of criticism last weekend at Governor Greg Abbott and the Texans for Lawsuit Reform to protest their support for Republican Lacey Hull in HD 138. Kamau-Imani showed that he has no use for sacred cows and sugar coats when he contended that the Republican governor who's paraplegic had a "spine of overcooked linguine" as a pawn for the power establishment.

The self-proclaimed Apostle accused Hull today on Twitter of lying about the ratings she's received on anti-abortion positions by pointing to a $10,000 contribution in December from the political action committee for TLR - a group that Kamau-Imani has branded as pro-genocide as a consequence of donations it's made to Democrats and moderate Republicans like Straus in the past. Straus had been a popular punching bag on the right during a decade-long stint as the chamber's top leader before stepping down a year.

The hard-right group Texas Right to Life has been Kamau-Imani's leading contributor in the competition for the seat that veteran GOP State Rep. Dwayne Bohac of Houston isn't seeking again this year. But conservatives have been sharply divided in HD 138 where Hull has picked up endorsements from groups like the Texas Home School Coalition and Texas Values Action as the Republican who appears to have the best odds on paper in the chase for the GOP nomination there.

But Kamau-Imani is doing his dead best to prevent an outright Hull victory in the primary election 13 days from now in HD 138 where Josh Flynn also is competing for a ticket to overtime as the son of veteran Republican State Rep. Dan Flynn of Van.

The three highest-ranked primary fights on both sides of the aisle in open House races are unfolding in districts that the GOP controls and Democrats are trying to flip in 2020. The first-round fights for the seats that GOP State Reps. Rick Miller of Sugar Land, Jonathan Stickland of Bedford and Bohac are relinquishing without re-election races are the hottest primary contests based primarily on their significance in the epic partisan tug-of-war in a chamber that Democrats will be running next year with a net gain of at least nine seats this fall.

Republicans Jeff Cason of Bedford and Jacey Jetton of Sugar Land have had the most money to spend in the opening round in the districts where Stickland and Miller aren't seeking new terms this year. Cason, a former city council member, has been running to the right with conservatives united behind him in three-way Republican race in the Tarrant County suburban district that's featured Jim Griffin as his most serious threat as a former Bedford mayor and city council member who's had the party establishment in his corner. But Cason and Griffin could end up meeting again in a May runoff with a third candidate who's had minimal funding also on the March 3 ballot for the GOP in House District 92.

Jetton, a former Fort Bend County GOP chairman, will be hoping to lock up the nomination in House District 26 in two weeks without the need for OT in a race with two primary rivals who'd had little success in the fundraising derby. But the Democratic primary fight in House District 26 where Miller is no longer a candidate could be the hardest open race to predict on either side of the aisle with four contenders who've all been formidable for different reasons.

Sugar Land Democrats Suleman Lalani and Rish Oberoi have both amassed six-digit war chests for House bids in a district where Laquitta DeMerchant is running again as the Democratic nominee there in 2016. But State Board of Education member Lawrence Allen Jr. could have a good shot at a runoff spot as the son of Democratic State Rep. Alma Allen of Houston and the only candidate with experience as an elected official in the HD 26 field.

Democrats Josh Wallenstein of Houston and Jeff Whitfield of Euless have been the money leaders up to now in primary fights in the Bohac and Stickland districts. But Whitfield's only primary foe - Steve Riddell of Bedford - had an initial advantage as the Democratic nominee in HD 92 in the last election cycle. Wallenstein in the meantime could be destined for a runoff duel with Akilah Bacy of Houston in HD 138.

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
Justin Ray (R)
House District 135
30 Day Report: $6,400
Total Donations: $94,827
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $44,229
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
Merrilee Beazley (R)
House District 135
30 Day Report: $0
Total Spending: $12,586
Campaign Loans: $0
Cash on Hand: $0

 

 
TEXAS RACES TO WATCH
Competitive Level, Long-Term Significance and Fundraising
Candidates Ranked on Cash

 
Texas House Open GOP
1

House District 138
Lacey Hull
Josh Flynn
Claver Kamau-Imani

2

House District 92
Jeff Cason
Jim Griffin
Taylor Gillig

3

House District 26
Jacey Jetton
Matt Morgan
Leonard Chan

4

House District 60
Jon Francis
Glenn Rogers
Kellye SoRelle

Chris Perricone

5

House District 25
Troy Brimage
Rhonda Seth
Ro'Vin Garrett

Cody Vasut
Mitch Thames

6

House District 10
Ryan Pitts
Jake Ellzey
Zack Rader

Texas House Open Dem
1

House District 26
Suleman Lalani
Rish Oberoi

Lawrence Allen
Laquitta DeMerchant

2

House District 138
Josh Wallenstein
Akilah Bacy

Jennifer Rene Pool

3

House District 92
Jeff Whitfield
Steve Riddell

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 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

Texas House Incumbents
1

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

Shelby Slawson

2

House District 142
Harold Dutton (D-Inc)
Jerry Davis

Richard Bonton

Natasha Ruiz

3

House District 2
Dan Flynn (R-Inc)
Dwayne Collins

Bryan Slaton

4

House District 106
Jared Patterson (R-Inc)
James Trombley

5

House District 128
Briscoe Cain (R-Inc)
Bob Hoskins

6

House District 37
Alex Dominguez (D-Inc)
Amber Medina

7

House District 80
Tracy King (D-Inc)
Danny Valdez

8

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

9

House District 65
Michelle Beckley (D-Inc)
Paige Dixon

10

House District 45
Erin Zwiener (D-Inc)
Liliana Posada

 

 

 

Copyright 2003-2020 Capitol Inside