According to new campaign finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission, two Democratic candidates are ahead of their Republican opponents in the money race in two key Texas State Board of Education elections on Nov. 2. Candidates have filed reports for campaign donations and expenditures for the period from July 1 to September 23. The next filing deadline is eight days before the Nov. 2 election.
The reports show that Democrat Rebecca Bell-Metereau of San Marcos raised nearly five times as much in campaign donations as the Republican incumbent, Ken Mercer of San Antonio, in the contest for the District 5 seat. Bell-Metereau reported raising a little more than $50,000 since July 1. Mercer reported raising just shy of $12,300. Bell-Metereau also had more money going into October, reporting $50,555 in cash on hand compared to Mercer’s $11,967.
Democrat Judy Jennings of Austin also out-raised her Republican opponent, Marsha Farney of Georgetown, in the race for District 10. Jennings reported $53,753 in cash on hand after $47,832 in donations. Farney reported $22,274 in cash on hand after raising nearly $20,700. But Farney dug deep into her own bank account in winning the Republican nomination last spring and could do so again in coming weeks.
Republican challenger Carlos “Charlie” Garza from El Paso has more campaign money than Democratic incumbent Rene Nuñez of El Paso in the race for the District 1 state board seat in West Texas. Garza reported $11,746 in contributions with more than $10,000 in cash on hand. Nuñez reported just $30 in contributions with $529 in cash on hand.
Interestingly, Houston homebuilder Bob Perry gave $5,000 each to the Garza and Mercer campaigns. Over the years Perry (no relation to Gov. Rick Perry) has been one of the state’s biggest donors to political campaigns, most (but not all) of his money going to Republican candidates. Garza also got $100 from Randy Rives, the religious-right candidate who failed to defeat incumbent Bob Craig of Lubbock in the March Republican primary for the District 15 seat.
Following are figures reported on the Texas Ethics Commission website by candidates in contested state board races for the period from July 1 to September 23.
This district is dominated by El Paso but stretches to the Rio Grande Valley.
Incumbent Rene Nuñez, an El Paso Democrat: $30 in contributions, $521.17 in expenditures, $529.02 cash on hand and $800 in outstanding loans.
Carlos “Charlie” Garza, an El Paso Republican: $11.746.55 in contributions, $2,258.48 in expenditures, $10,168.48 cash on hand
This district stretches from San Antonio to the Rio Grande Valley. Democratic incumbent Rick Agosto is not seeking re-election.
Michael Soto, a San Antonio Democrat: $13,685 in contributions,$9,108.04 in expenditures, $11,435.18 cash on hand.
Tony Cunningham, a San Antonio Republican: Report unavailable online as of Oct. 7. Cunningham listed no contributions, expenditures or cash on hand in his July report.
Dean Kareem Higley, a San Antonio Libertarian: No contributions, no expenditures, no cash on hand
Democratic incumbent Lawrence Allen Jr. of Houston is unopposed.
This district stretches from Bexar County to southern Travis County and includes the Hill Country and up to Bell County north of Austin.
Incumbent Ken Mercer, the Republican incumbent from San Antonio: $12,292 in contributions, $2,235.11 in expenditures, $11,967.66 cash on hand
Rebecca Bell-Metereau, a San Marcos Democrat: $50,236.52 in contributions, $$42,465.63 in expenditures, $50,555.941 cash on hand
Mark Loewe, an Austin Libertarian: Report unavailable online as of Oct. 7.
This largely East Texas district stretches from Plano to Bryan-College Station.
Jeff McGee, a College Station Libertarian: Report unavailable online as of Oct. 7
Paul Cardwell, Green Party nominee from Bonham: $100 in contributions, no expenditures, $400 cash on hand
This district stretches from Williamson and northern Travis County to just west of Houston. Republican incumbent Cynthia Dunbar is not seeking re-election.
Marsha Farney, a Georgetown Republican: $20,697.04 in contributions, $23,062.19 in expenditures, $22,274.53 cash on hand
Judy Jennings, an Austin Democrat: $$47,832.01 in contributions, $30,963.88 in expenditures, $53,753.77 cash on hand
Jessica Dreesen, an Austin Libertarian: No report available online as of Oct. 7
This is a Dallas-area district.
George Clayton, a Richardson Republican: no contributions, $1,164.46 in expenditures, $101.48 cash on hand. Clayton defeated incumbent Geraldine “Tincy” Miller of Dallas for the Republican nomination.
Amie Parsons, a Dallas Libertarian: $395 in contributions, $580.98 in expenditures, $603.50 cash on hand.
This district includes the Panhandle and much of West Texas.
Bob Craig, the Republican incumbent from Lubbock: no contributions, no expenditures, $48.62 cash on hand
John Pekowski, a Lubbock Republican: Report unavailable online as of Oct. 7