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Texas senate president raises $11.8 million this election cycle

According to campaign finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has raised $11,825,311 and spent $6,478,357 between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 16, 2022. Patrick currently serves as the president of the state senate.

Patrick is a member of the Republican Party and assumed office in 2015. In Texas, the president of the senate is one of the roles of the lieutenant governor. The primary job of a state senate president is to preside over legislative sessions and ensure that members of the chamber abide by procedural rules. Patrick is running for re-election and his current term ends in 2023.

Patrick’s reported campaign finance activity, by quarter 2017-2022

Contributions to Patrick

Of the $11.8 million already reported in the 2022 election cycle, $2.3 million came from the top 10 donors.

Top Donors to Patrick (1/1/2021 – 5/16/2022)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$350,000.00R Drayton McLane JrIndividual
2.$350,000.00Robert B RowlingIndividual
3.$250,200.00H Ross Perot JrIndividual
4.$250,000.00Douglas ScharbauerIndividual
5.$250,000.00S Javaid AnwarIndividual
6.$200,000.00James D Pitcock JrIndividual
7.$175,000.00Edward Roski JrIndividual
8.$175,000.00Gulf States Toyota Inc. State PACEntity
9.$165,000.00HillCo PACEntity
10.$152,200.00Kelley and Michael Hernandez IIIIndividual

Expenditures by Patrick

Patrick reported $6,478,357 in expenditures, with $5,015,851 going to the 10 payees topping this list. 

Top Expenditures by Patrick (1/1/2021 – 5/16/2022)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$2,565,761.35Political Communications AdvertisingEntity
2.$742,988.00Blakemore & AssociatesEntity
3.$358,294.12Raconteur Media CompanyEntity
4.$262,456.43John Doner & Associates IncEntity
5.$255,284.21Case Hall & CompanyEntity
6.$210,647.95Solutions in Texas for Fundraising LLCEntity
7.$181,366.37American ExpressEntity
8.$174,053.00Baselice & Associates IncEntity
9.$150,000.00Pete FloresEntity
10.$115,000.00Dan PatrickIndividual

How donations to Patrick compare to the equivalent role in other states

A number of factors, including whether the position holder is the lieutenant governor or a state senator, can influence donor activity. Here is how Patrick compares to the 10 other senate presidents with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA in 2022:

Across the U.S., 30 senate presidents are members of the Republican Party and 19 are members of the Democratic Party, with one vacancy. The lieutenant governor serves as the president of the senate in 25 states. In other states, the president of the senate is a state senator chosen by the members of the chamber. 

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Texas PACs submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Pre-Primary (30 Days)1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary (8 Days)2/22/2022
2022 Primary Runoff5/16/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Pre-General (30 Days)10/11/2022
2022 Pre-General (8 Days)10/31/2022
2022 Semiannual Data1/17/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



$72.7 million raised in the race for Texas governor

The general election for Governor of Texas will take place on Nov. 7, 2022. In total, candidates running for Texas governor have raised $72.7 million, received $5.0 million in loans, and spent $62.7 million between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 14, 2022.

Here’s the breakdown for the five candidates who are still in the running:

Active Gubernatorial Candidates’ Campaign Finance, 1/1/2021- 5/14/2022

CandidatePartyContributionsLoansExpenditures
Greg Abbott (Incumbent)Republican$45,195,153.25$0.00$37,930,299.56
Beto O’RourkeDemocratic$13,284,301.70$27,444.47$6,454,769.84
Delilah BarriosGreen$5,143.50$0.00$3,750.00
Mark TippettsLibertarian$14,336.65$0.00$212.44
Ricardo Turullols-BonillaIndependent$0.00$0.00$0.00

The remaining $14.2 million raised in the race for Texas governor went to candidates who did not advance to the general election or have withdrawn.

Total fundraising in nine gubernatorial races in the 2022 election cycle

A number of factors, including whether an incumbent officeholder is running for re-election and number of candidates in a race, can influence donor activity. Here is how total fundraising by all candidates for Texas governor compares to the eight other gubernatorial races with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA for the 2022 election cycle:

RankStateTotal DonationsTotal CandidatesActive CandidatesElection StageAvailable Reporting Period
1Florida$106,753,1151210Primary Election1/1/2021 – 3/31/2022
2Texas$72,717,055245General Election1/1/2021 – 5/14/2022
3Pennsylvania$55,727,674205General Election1/1/2021 – 6/16/2022
4Arizona$24,376,8841512Primary Election1/1/2021 – 3/31/2022
5Ohio$22,113,46895General Election1/1/2021 – 6/3/2022
6Michigan$20,716,429167Primary Election1/1/2021 – 4/20/2022
7California$13,997,678322General Election1/1/2021 – 5/21/2022
8Wisconsin$13,933,407109Primary Election1/1/2021 – 3/13/2022
9Minnesota$8,263,0721411Primary Election1/1/2021 – 3/30/2022

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Texas candidate PACs submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Pre-Primary (30 Days)1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary (8 Days)2/22/2022
2022 Primary Runoff5/16/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Pre-General (30 Days)10/11/2022
2022 Pre-General (8 Days)10/31/2022
2022 Semiannual Data1/17/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Cuellar wins TX-28 Democratic runoff following recount

On June 21, the Texas Democratic Party shared unofficial results from a recount of the primary runoff in Texas’ 28th Congressional District indicating that U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) had defeated challenger Jessica Cisneros. Cuellar defeated Cisneros by 289 votes. Initial results from the May 24 primary runoff showed Cuellar winning by 187 votes.

The candidates disagreed on abortion policy. This race occurred alongside several events related to abortion policy, including the passage of Texas Senate Bill 8, a vote in the U.S. House to legalize abortion nationally, and the leak of a draft opinion for a case related to abortion pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Cuellar, in Congress since 2005, was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition at the time of the primary. He was the only House Democrat to vote against a bill in 2021 that would have codified the right to abortion in federal law. Cuellar’s campaign said his membership on the House Appropriations Committee helped fund education, healthcare, small businesses, veterans, and immigration services programs in the district.

At the time of the primary, Cisneros was an immigration attorney and supported Medicare For All, legal access to abortion, a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, and the For The People Act. Cisneros criticized Cuellar for his abortion stance, his votes on federal immigration proposals, and his response to the coronavirus pandemic, citing the latter as a key reason she ran again.



Vallejo defeats Ramirez in Texas’ 15th Congressional District Democratic primary runoff after recount

A recount of votes in the May 24 Democratic primary runoff in Texas’ 15th Congressional District showed Michelle Vallejo defeating Ruben Ramirez by 35 votes, according to an announcement by the Texas Democratic Party on June 17.

Vallejo declared victory in the runoff election on June 1 after unofficial results showed her leading Ramirez by 33 votes. “I am so proud of all that we have accomplished and with final results coming in, I am honored to be the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 15th Congressional District,” Vallejo said.

Ramirez did not concede, saying the election was still too close to call. Ramirez said, “it is essential that every voter has their say before a final call is made. South Texas politics has a long tradition of upset victories.” After calling for a recount on June 6, the Texas Democratic Party approved Ramirez’s request on June 9.

According to the Associated Press, “The victory by Vallejo sets up a significant test this fall for progressive Democrats who backed her in the 15th Congressional District, one of two new U.S. House seats awarded to booming Texas after a decade of explosive growth driven by new Latino residents.” Vallejo will face Monica De La Cruz (R), who won the 15th district Republican primary, in the November election.

Another recount of the May 24 runoff results is currently underway in the race between Jessica Cisneros (D) and incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) in Texas’ 28th Congressional District.



Texas attorney general raises $5.9 million this election cycle

According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has raised $5.9 million and spent $6 million between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 14, 2022. Paxton is currently ranked seventh in state-level donations in the 2022 election cycle.

Paxton is a member of the Republican Party and assumed office in 2015. In Texas, the attorney general is an elected position. The primary job of a state attorney general is to serve as chief legal adviser to the agencies and legislative organs that make up his or her state’s government, in addition to the citizens residing within the state. Paxton is running for re-election in 2022.

Paxton’s reported campaign finance activity, by quarter (2015-2022)

Source: Transparency USA

Contributions to Paxton

Of the $5.9 million already reported in the 2022 election cycle, 30.1 percent came from the top 10 donors.

Top Donors to Paxton (1/1/2021 – 5/14/2022)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$500,000.00Republican Attorneys General AssociationENTITY
2.$250,000.00Douglas ScharbauerINDIVIDUAL
3.$200,000.00Kenny A and Lisa TrouttINDIVIDUAL
4.$150,000.00Holly FrostINDIVIDUAL
5.$125,000.00Donald WasekINDIVIDUAL
6.$125,000.00S Javaid AnwarINDIVIDUAL
7.$120,000.00Michael & Mary PorterINDIVIDUAL
8.$100,000.00Amanda SchumacherINDIVIDUAL
9.$100,000.00Dan & Staci WilksINDIVIDUAL
10.$100,000.00Darwin A DeasonINDIVIDUAL

Expenditures by Paxton

Paxton reported $6 million in expenditures, with 96.2 percent going to the 10 payees topping this list. “Payees” are entities or individuals listed as the recipients of campaign expenditures, and may include vendors, campaign accounts, and transfers.

Top Expenditures by Paxton (1/1/2021 – 5/14/2022)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$3,168,521.55Anthem Media IncENTITY
2.$1,374,415.32Grassroots for You LLCENTITY
3.$437,880.02Fundraising Solutions IncENTITY
4.$357,776.45Weisbart Springer Hayes LLPENTITY
5.$163,062.00Baselice & Associates IncENTITY
6.$119,645.53Axiom Strategies LLCENTITY
7.$65,000.00Headwaters MediaENTITY
8.$49,523.56Mar-a-Lago ClubENTITY
9.$30,000.00Raconteur Media CompanyENTITY
10.$25,000.00Independent Conservative Republicans of TexasENTITY

How donations to Paxton compare to the same office in other states

Contributions vary widely among officeholders in the same role. A number of factors, including whether the position is appointed or elected, can influence donor activity. Here is how Paxton’s donations compare to the 10 other attorney generals with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA in 2022:

Across the U.S., 27 attorney generals are members of the Republican Party and 23 are members of the Democratic Party. Voters elect the attorney general in 43 states, while they are chosen by a state government organ in the other seven. In 2022, 30 states are holding elections for the position.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Texas PACs submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Pre-Primary (30 Days)1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary (8 Days)2/22/2022
2022 Primary Runoff5/16/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Pre-General (30 Days)10/11/2022
2022 Pre-General (8 Days)10/31/2022
2022 Semiannual Data1/17/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Flores wins Texas’ 34th Congressional District special election

Mayra Flores (R) defeated Dan Sanchez (D), Rene Coronado (D), and Juana Cantu-Cabrera (R) in a special general election for Texas’ 34th Congressional District on June 14. The previous incumbent, Filemon Vela (D), resigned on March 31, 2022.

The Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek said, “The winner of the special election will only get to finish Vela’s term, which extends until January. But Republicans are eager to capture the seat as they try to gain new ground in South Texas, and the special election is happening under the previous, more competitive boundaries of the 34th District. The November election for a full term in Congress will be held under new district boundaries that were redrawn during last year’s redistricting process.”

Sanchez is a lawyer and was a county commissioner for Cameron County. Sanchez also served as a justice of the peace for Cameron County from 2003 to 2010. “I’m running for Congress to finish Congressman Filemon Vela’s term because South Texas deserves a representative who will focus on what matters: lower costs, affordable healthcare, safe communities, and a secure retirement,” Sanchez said.

Flores is a respiratory care practitioner and also served as the Hidalgo County GOP Hispanic outreach chair. In addition to running in the special election, Flores is also on the ballot for the regular general election on Nov. 8 after advancing from the March 1 Republican primary. Flores said the election would “set the tone for the entire nation in the upcoming midterms” and that “South Texas is ready for true conservative leadership in office.”

The special election was held under previous district lines in which Pres. Joe Biden won by four points in the 2020 election. The November election will be held in the newly redrawn district where Biden would have won by over 15 points, according to the Texas Tribune.



Texas Republican candidates have raised $117.1 million more than Democrats

In Texas, state-level candidates have raised $215.4 million between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 14, 2022. Democratic candidates have raised $47.4 million and Republican candidates have raised $164.5 million. 

Texas Campaign Finance Snapshot (1/1/2021 – 5/14/2022)

Top 10 Democratic candidates, by donations (1/1/2021 – 5/14/2022)

In the 2022 election cycle, 674 state-level Democrats have filed campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission. Here are the 10 Democratic candidates who have raised the most.

RankDemocratic CandidateTotal Raised
1.Beto O’Rourke$13,284,301.70
2.Michael Collier$2,246,109.45
3.Joe S Jaworski$1,414,963.23
4.Jay Kleberg$1,379,625.09
5.Lee Merritt$851,077.82
6.Matthew Dowd$592,705.57
7.Rochelle Garza$576,770.78
8.John Whitmire$514,695.97
9.Morgan LaMantia$511,811.15
10.Richard Pena Raymond$509,459.26

Top 10 Republican candidates, by donations (1/1/2021 – 5/14/2022)

During the same time period, 723 Republicans have filed campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission. These are the 10 Republican candidates with the highest reported donations for the 2022 election cycle so far.

RankRepublican CandidateTotal Raised
1.Greg Abbott$45,195,153.25
2.Dan Patrick$11,825,310.66
3.Donald Huffines$10,130,014.63
4.Eva Guzman$8,804,400.10
5.George P Bush$8,064,965.30
6.Ken Paxton$5,877,524.27
7.Allen B West$3,783,973.07
8.Dade Phelan$2,905,246.80
9.Dawn Buckingham$2,580,364.83
10.David Middleton II$2,277,267.10

In some states, officeholders may accept donations to their campaign accounts when they are not up for election. Those donations are included in candidate campaign finance numbers.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Texas candidate PACs submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Pre-Primary (30 Days)1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary (8 Days)2/22/2022
2022 Primary Runoff5/16/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Pre-General (30 Days)10/11/2022
2022 Pre-General (8 Days)10/31/2022
2022 Semiannual Data1/17/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Texas Democratic Party approves recount in Texas’ 15th Congressional District Democratic primary runoff

On June 9, the Texas Democratic Party approved Ruben Ramirez’s request for a recount in the May 24 Democratic primary runoff for Texas’ 15th Congressional District. Official results showed Ramirez trailing Michelle Vallejo (D) by 30 votes. 

Under Texas law, a recount can be requested within five days after election day or two days after the canvass, whichever is later. The required margin is less than 10% of the winning candidate’s vote. There is no deadline for completion.

Vallejo declared victory in the runoff election on June 1 after unofficial results showed her leading Ramirez by 33 votes. “I am so proud of all that we have accomplished and with final results coming in, I am honored to be the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 15th Congressional District,” Vallejo said.

Ramirez did not concede, saying the election was still too close to call. Ramirez said “it is essential that every voter has their say before a final call is made. South Texas politics has a long tradition of upset victories.”

Texas’ 28th Congressional District candidate Jessica Cisneros (D) also requested a recount of the May 24 runoff results. Official results showed incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) leading Cisneros by 281 votes. Ramirez applied for a manual recount of votes, while Cisneros requested an electronic recount.

“The Texas Democratic Party is the Recount Coordinator for both of these recounts and is supporting all of our County Chairs in these two districts, who will work closely with their election officials to carry out thorough, accurate recounts of the votes,” a Texas Democratic Party spokesperson said.

According to the Texas Tribune, “The recounts mean it will be at least weeks before an undisputed winner emerges in each runoff.”

Additional reading:



Four candidates running in Texas’ 34th Congressional District special election

Four candidates are running in a special general election to fill the seat representing Texas’ 34th Congressional District in the U.S. House on June 14, 2022. The special election will fill the vacancy left by Filemon Vela (D), who resigned effective March 31, 2022.

Dan Sanchez (D) and Mayra Flores (R) have led in media attention and fundraising. Rene Coronado (D) and Juana Cantu-Cabrera (R) are also running. The Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek said, “The winner of the special election will only get to finish Vela’s term, which extends until January. But Republicans are eager to capture the seat as they try to gain new ground in South Texas, and the special election is happening under the previous, more competitive boundaries of the 34th District. The November election for a full term in Congress will be held under new district boundaries that were redrawn during last year’s redistricting process.”

Sanchez was elected county commissioner for Cameron County in 2011 and previously served as justice of the peace for Cameron County from 2003 to 2010. “I’m running for Congress to finish Congressman Filemon Vela’s term because South Texas deserves a representative who will focus on what matters: lower costs, affordable healthcare, safe communities, and a secure retirement,” Sanchez said. Sanchez received endorsements from Vela and U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D).

Flores’ career experience includes working as a respiratory care practitioner. She also served as the Hidalgo County GOP Hispanic Outreach Chair. Flores said the election would “set the tone for the entire nation in the upcoming midterms” and that “South Texas is ready for true conservative leadership in office.” Flores received endorsements from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Texas GOP chair Matt Rinaldi (R), and the Congressional Leadership Fund.

In addition to running in the special election, Flores is also on the ballot for the regular general election for District 34 on Nov. 8 after advancing from the March 1 Republican primary. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D) advanced from the March 1 Democratic primary and will also be on the general election ballot.

Prior to resigning, Vela had represented the distinct since 2013. In the 2020 general election, Vela defeated Rey Gonzalez Jr. (R) with 55% of the vote to Gonzalez Jr.’s 42%.

If no candidate earns a majority of the vote in the general election, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff election. According to the proclamation announcing the special election, a runoff election would likely be held in August.



Texas Republican candidates have spent $106.58 million more than Democrats

In Texas, state-level candidates spent $205.86 million between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 14, 2022. Democratic candidates spent $47.44 million and Republican candidates spent $154.02 million. 

Texas Campaign Finance Snapshot (1/1/2021 – 5/14/2022)

Source: Transparency USA

Top 10 Democratic candidates, by expenditures (1/1/2021 – 5/14/2022)

In the 2022 election cycle, 674 state-level Democrats have filed campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission. Here are the 10 Democratic candidates who have spent the most.

RankDemocratic CandidateTotal Spent
1.Beto O’Rourke$6,454,769.84
2.John Whitmire$6,052,057.66
3.Morgan LaMantia$3,443,474.93
4.Michael Collier$2,160,690.08
5.Joe S Jaworski$1,771,684.11
6.Jay Kleberg$1,094,094.74
7.Richard Pena Raymond$600,095.45
8.Lee Merritt$593,079.74
9.Rochelle Garza$548,910.41
10.Chuy Hinojosa$485,888.55

Top 10 Republican candidates, by expenditures (1/1/2021 – 5/14/2022)

During the same time period, 723 Republicans have filed campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission. These are the 10 Republican candidates with the highest reported expenditures for the 2022 election cycle so far.

RankRepublican CandidateTotal Spent
1.Greg Abbott$37,930,299.56
2.Donald Huffines$14,452,983.90
3.George P Bush$8,949,809.36
4.Dan Patrick$6,478,357.37
5.Ken Paxton$6,022,078.96
6.Eva Guzman$5,720,114.44
7.Dawn Buckingham$3,450,249.56
8.Dade Phelan$2,536,948.32
9.Glenn Hegar$2,392,301.51
10.Allen B West$2,196,144.25

In some states, officeholders may make expenditures from their campaign accounts when they are not up for election. Those expenditures are included in candidate campaign finance numbers.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Texas candidate PACs submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Pre-Primary (30 Days)1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary (8 Days)2/22/2022
2022 Primary Runoff5/16/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Pre-General (30 Days)10/11/2022
2022 Pre-General (8 Days)10/31/2022
2022 Semiannual Data1/17/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.