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.