Welcome to the Friday, September 3, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Who’s raising the most money so far this year?
- Special election to the Texas House of Representatives heads to a runoff
- #FridayTrivia: What percentage of state legislative seats will feature a Democrat and a Republican on the general election ballots this year?
Who’s raising the most money so far this year? We’ve got that data in eight states
Campaign finance requirements govern the raising and spending of money for political campaigns.
We recently released a series of articles, listed below, showing the top individual fundraisers by party affiliation in eight states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These figures are based on campaign finance reports that active candidate political action committees (candidate PACs) submitted to their respective states. They include activity between Jan. 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021. Candidate PACs represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. These articles do not include non-candidate PACs.
The articles were published in partnership with Transparency USA. Click here to learn more about that partnership.
Let’s take a look at some of the topline stats pulled from these reports.
The state with the greatest total amount raised during this period was Texas, where candidate PACs raised around $169 million in the first half of 2021. Virginia, the only state on this list holding multiple statewide elections in 2021, saw the second-most activity, with around $68 million raised. Florida saw the third-most activity, with candidates raising just over $50 million. Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), the single-highest fundraiser during this period, made up a majority of those funds, raising $36 million, 72% of the statewide total.
Of the five top fundraisers, three are gubernatorial incumbents who are not up for re-election until 2022 at the earliest. In addition to DeSantis’ $36.2 million, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Mich. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) raised $20.9 and $6.9 million, respectively.
The remaining two candidates are Terry McAuliffe (D) and Glenn Youngkin (R), the two major-party candidates for governor in Virginia this year. McAuliffe raised $14.5 million to Youngkin’s $7.6 million.
Want to know more? Use the links below to read about fundraising in each of the eight states analyzed in this series:
Special election to the Texas House of Representatives heads to a runoff
On Aug. 31, voters in Texas’ House District 10 cast their ballots in a special general election. Brian E. Harrison (R) and John Wray (R) defeated six other candidates and advanced to a runoff election after receiving 41% and 36% of the vote, respectively. A candidate needed to win at least 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff. The candidate with the third-most votes was Pierina Otiniano (D) with 11%.
As of Sept. 2, a runoff date had not been announced.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called the election after former state Rep. Jake Ellzey (R) won a special election to Texas’ 6th Congressional District on July 27. Ellzey first won election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2020 and assumed office in January 2021.
As of Sept. 2, 57 state legislative special elections have been scheduled across the country. The special election in District 10 was the second state legislative special election in Texas so far in 2021. A special election for House District 68 took place on Jan. 23 to fill a vacancy left by Drew Springer (R). David Spiller (R) won the runoff election for that seat on Feb. 23.
#FridayTrivia: What percentage of state legislative seats will feature a Democrat and a Republican on the general election ballots this year?
In Thursday’s Brew, we took a look at our analysis of major party competition in New Jersey and Virginia’s state legislative elections. This analysis examines the number of seats up for election contested by both a Democrat and a Republican, which we use to determine the level of competitiveness in state legislative elections each year. For comparison, in 2020, both major parties’ candidates contested 65% of the state legislative seats up for election.
What percentage of state legislative seats will feature a Democrat and a Republican on the general election ballot this year?