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These 10 Texas donors gave over $23.7 million

In Texas politics, state-level candidates and political action committees have received $375.3 million in total donations between January 1, 2021, and February 19, 2022. The 10 largest donors gave more than $23.7 million, or 6 percent of all contributions.

These are the top 10 individual donors to Texas state-level candidates and political action committees (PACs) in the 2022 election cycle, according to the most recent campaign finance reports submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission:

Top 10 Texas Donors (1/1/2021 – 2/19/2022)

RankDonor NameTotal Donations
1Richard Weekley$4,066,334
2Timothy M and Terri Dunn$3,032,500
3Michael & Mary Porter$2,445,000
4Dr Miriam Adelson$2,300,000
5Farris & JoAnn Wilks$2,272,500
6H Ross Perot Jr$2,212,700
7John L and Barbara Nau III$2,134,088
8Harlan R Crow$1,958,000
9Robert B Rowling$1,805,000
10Reed Hastings$1,511,000

The list of Texas donors in this time period includes more than 8,329 individuals identified by name in the Texas Ethics Commission’s public records.

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.



Texas Supreme Court ruling effectively ends lawsuits over abortion law

On March 11, 2022, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that state agencies could not enforce Senate Bill 8, bringing an end to the legal challenges that the Supreme Court of the United States had heard in Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson.

Senate Bill 8 is a Texas law that banned abortion procedures after six weeks of pregnancy and authorized private civil right of action related to violations of the law. This meant that private citizens, including citizens residing outside of the state of Texas, could bring civil actions against individuals for aiding a patient with getting an abortion. 

Justice Jeffrey S. Boyd delivered Texas Supreme Court’s opinion. He wrote, “Senate Bill 8 provides that its requirements may be enforced by a private civil action, that no state official may bring or participate as a party in any such action, that such an action is the exclusive means to enforce the requirements, and that these restrictions apply notwithstanding any other law. Based on these provisions, we conclude that Texas law does not grant the state-agency executives named as defendants in this case any authority to enforce the act’s requirements, either directly or indirectly.” 

This ruling meant that agencies, such as the Texas Medical Board and the Texas Board of Nursing, and their heads could not be targeted in lawsuits to stop the enforcement of SB8. Steve Vladeck, a professor at The University of Texas School of Law, wrote that “[t]he providers’ suit against state defendants is now effectively over” following the ruling.

The Texas Supreme Court’s ruling follows the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit remanding a case to the Texas Supreme Court in January 2022 for clarity over several issues raised in the Supreme Court ruling. On December 10, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 8-1 in Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson that abortion providers may file suit in federal court against certain Texas executive officials to prevent them from enforcing provisions of S.B. 8 against abortion providers; it further held by a 5-4 vote that the abortion providers cannot bring suit against state judicial officials to prevent private lawsuits from being tried.



Garza, Jaworski advance to May 24 runoff in Democratic primary for Texas attorney general

Rochelle Garza and Joe Jaworski advanced from the March 1 Democratic primary for Texas attorney general when third-place finisher Lee Merritt conceded his spot in the runoff on March 10. Garza finished first in the primary with 43.0% of the vote and Jaworski received 19.7%. Merritt finished in third place with 19.4%, Mike Fields was fourth with 12.3%, and S. T-Bone Raynor was fifth with 5.5%.

Because no candidate won more than 50% of the votes cast, Garza and Jaworski will meet in a May 24 primary runoff election.

Garza is a former attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who originally announced she would run for Texas’ 34th Congressional District. After Texas enacted new congressional district maps in October 2021, Garza decided to run for attorney general instead. In an interview with The Texas Tribune, Garza said, “Given my background, my work, I believe that this race is the right place to be. I also believe that if we’re gonna change anything in Texas, it’s gonna have to come at the state level because we’ve seen the damage that the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general have done to this state and the harm they’ve done to the people.”

Jaworski is an attorney and the former mayor of Galveston. His campaign website lists several top priorities, including supporting the Affordable Care Act, expanding Medicaid, leading a statewide effort to legalize recreational marijuana, and supporting the decision-making authority of local governments. “Local decision-making authority is under attack in state government these days and I can personally say that local government is the best government. So I think as attorney general, Texans can rest assured whether they live in Republican jurisdiction, Democratic jurisdiction or any independent-type jurisdiction, that local government will be a focus of my attorney general opinion.”

The attorney general is an executive office that serves as the chief legal advisor and chief law enforcement officer for the state government and is empowered to prosecute violations of state law, represent the state in legal disputes and issue legal advice to state agencies and the legislature. In most states, the attorney general has a substantial influence on a state’s approach to law enforcement.

Additional reading:



Republicans outraise Democrats by 117% in Texas House races

Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns.

While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum.

This article lists top fundraisers in the Texas House of Representatives, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for the House submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission. It includes activity between January 1, 2021, and February 19, 2022.

Top fundraisers in the Texas House of Representatives by party

The top fundraisers in Texas House of Representatives elections are shown below. Individuals are presented with the office that they are on the ballot for in 2022, if applicable.

In the Democratic Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Richard Raymond (District 42) – $509,459
  • James Talarico (District 50) – $360,465
  • Frank Ramirez (District 118) – $302,573
  • Julie Johnson (District 115) – $298,231
  • Chris Turner (District 101) – $280,454

In the Republican Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Dade Phelan (District 21) – $2,905,247
  • Mayes Middleton – $2,014,767
  • Ryan Guillen (District 31) – $950,605
  • Phil King – $936,332
  • Tan Parker – $822,571

Fundraising totals

Overall, Democratic officeholders and candidates raised $9.19 million in this period. Republican officeholders and candidates raised $34.89 million. Combined, all House fundraisers in the January 1, 2021, through February 19, 2022, filing period raised $44.08 million.

The five largest Democratic fundraisers were responsible for 19 percent of all Democratic House fundraising. The five largest Republican fundraisers were responsible for 22 percent of all Republican House fundraising.

The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top ten fundraisers during this period.

TOP TEN FUNDRAISERS – TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (January 1, 2021, through February 19, 2022)

NameParty AffiliationRaisedSpent
Dade PhelanRepublican Party$2,905,247$2,536,948
Mayes MiddletonRepublican Party$2,014,767$1,897,663
Ryan GuillenRepublican Party$950,605$985,417
Phil KingRepublican Party$936,332$1,017,324
Tan ParkerRepublican Party$822,571$1,039,875
David SpillerRepublican Party$804,221$505,235
Adam BlanchardRepublican Party$692,765$385,756
John LujanRepublican Party$683,537$244,132
Glenn RogersRepublican Party$575,367$453,232
Dustin BurrowsRepublican Party$537,605$259,377

Campaign finance reporting periods

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that candidate PACs submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission. Candidate PACs represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. This article does not include non-candidate PACs. In 2022, Transparency USA will publish campaign finance data after the 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.



Republicans outraise Democrats by 126% in Texas Senate races

Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns.

While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum.

This article lists top fundraisers in the Texas State Senate, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for the State Senate submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission. It includes activity between January 1, 2021, and February 19, 2022.

Top fundraisers in the Texas State Senate by party

The top fundraisers in Texas State Senate elections are shown below. Individuals are presented with the office that they are on the ballot for in 2022, if applicable.

In the Democratic Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • John Whitmire (District 15) – $505,196
  • Royce West (District 23) – $414,698
  • Judith Zaffirini (District 21) – $313,071
  • Nathan Johnson (District 16) – $283,286
  • Morgan LaMantia (District 27) – $246,275

In the Republican Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Mayes Middleton (District 11) – $2,014,767
  • Dawn Buckingham – $1,755,669
  • Kevin Sparks (District 31) – $1,204,386
  • Peter P. Flores (District 24) – $1,033,830
  • Phil King (District 10) – $936,332

Fundraising totals

Overall, Democratic officeholders and candidates raised $3.27 million in this period. Republican officeholders and candidates raised $14.40 million. Combined, all State Senate fundraisers in the January 1, 2021, through February 19, 2022, filing period raised $17.67 million.

The five largest Democratic fundraisers were responsible for 54 percent of all Democratic State Senate fundraising. The five largest Republican fundraisers were responsible for 48 percent of all Republican State Senate fundraising.

The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top ten fundraisers during this period.

TOP TEN FUNDRAISERS – TEXAS STATE SENATE (January 1, 2021, through February 19, 2022)

NameParty AffiliationRaisedSpent
Mayes MiddletonRepublican Party$2,014,767$1,897,663
Dawn BuckinghamRepublican Party$1,755,669$2,447,281
Kevin SparksRepublican Party$1,204,386$1,190,819
Peter P. FloresRepublican Party$1,033,830$877,928
Phil KingRepublican Party$936,332$1,017,324
Angela PaxtonRepublican Party$838,760$323,331
Tan ParkerRepublican Party$822,571$1,039,875
Kelly HancockRepublican Party$542,910$323,792
John WhitmireDemocratic Party$505,196$6,052,058
Charles SchwertnerRepublican Party$503,829$359,302

Campaign finance reporting periods

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that candidate PACs submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission. Candidate PACs represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. This article does not include non-candidate PACs. In 2022, Transparency USA will publish campaign finance data after the 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.



One incumbent defeated in Texas’ state legislative primaries, continuing a decade-long decrease

Texas held the first statewide primary of the 2022 election cycle for federal and state offices on March 1. Heading into the primaries, it was guaranteed that at least one of the 151 state legislative incumbents seeking re-election would lose.

Rep. Claudia Ordaz Perez (D), who currently represents House District 76, was drawn into House District 79 as a result of redistricting, setting up an incumbent vs. incumbent primary between Ordaz Perez and District 79’s Rep. Art Fierro (D). Ordaz won, receiving 65% of the vote to Fierro’s 35%.

As of March 4, Fierro is the only state legislative incumbent who lost in Texas’ primaries, representing 2.4% of the 41 House incumbents who faced primary challengers. If no other incumbents lose re-election when additional races are called, it would be a decade-low for the legislature.

There are several outstanding races featuring incumbents, all of which involve House Republicans.

Two races are uncalled—Districts 64 and 91—and, in three, the incumbents advanced to runoff elections on May 24 after finishing in the primary’s top-two. Those runoffs will be held in:

In the Senate, three of the 26 senators seeking re-election faced and defeated their primary challengers. No incumbent senator in Texas has lost a primary or primary runoff since 2014.

Additional reading:

  1. Texas House of Representatives elections, 2022
  2. Texas State Senate elections, 2022


Ramirez and Vallejo advance to runoff in Texas’ 15th Congressional District primary

Ruben Ramirez and Michelle Vallejo were the top two finishers in the Democratic Party primary election for Texas’ 15th Congressional District on March 1, 2022. Ramirez received 28.3% of the vote, followed by Vallejo with 20.1%. Because no candidate won 50% of the vote, Ramirez and Vallejo advanced to a runoff election on May 24.

Media attention focused on Eliza Alvarado, Ramirez, John Villarreal Rigney, and Vallejo, and these candidates also led in fundraising. Incumbent Vicente Gonzalez (D) ran to replace retiring District 34 incumbent Filemon Vela (D) after the Texas State Legislature redrew the 15th district to include more of western Hidalgo County during the 2020 redistricting cycle.

Ramirez is an Army veteran and former teacher who previously ran for election in the 15th District in 2012 and 2016. At the time of the election, he worked as an attorney. His top campaign priorities were healthcare, national security, and education. Ramirez said he would “continue to fight for my fellow veterans and district. Like all challenges I have faced, I will not back down and I promise to uphold our values and our Constitution” if elected.

Vallejo was a business owner and co-founder of two advocacy groups, New Leaders Council STX Frontera chapter and Hustle + Socialize. Her platform includes supporting Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, and an anti-war foreign policy. “I think traditionally these races are based on who has the most purchasing power when it comes to mailers, signs, and media, and I’m so grateful that for my campaign that’s not the only thing we’re focusing on, and I love that it started with the energy of having a ground game,” Vallejo said.

Alvarado was a director at South Texas educational service center Region One, and she previously worked for the U.S. Department of Labor and served as a congressional aide to U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D). She emphasized her experience in government, education, and healthcare and said partisanship was unimportant in representing the district. “I’m not there to represent Brooklyn or California, I’m there to represent District 15. And as such, I need to understand what District 15 needs regardless of whether they’re Republican or Democrat,” Alvarado said.

Rigney worked as an attorney and founded a construction company, Rigney Construction & Development. His top campaign issues included public safety, education, veterans’ education and healthcare, raising the minimum wage, and providing residency and citizenship opportunities for immigrants. Rigney said his campaign was focused on “you, your family, and all the people that work every day to provide for their families. Whether that means trying to put food on the table, dealing with rising gas prices, trying to pay for unaffordable medical care, or making sure your kids have quality afterschool care, I want to make sure you get the best representation.”

According to The Texas Tribune, Texas’ 15th Congressional District became more favorable to Republicans as a result of redistricting. Joe Biden (D) won the district by two percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump (R) would have won the new district by three percentage points. The Cook Political Report and other outlets rated the 15th district Solid Democratic in 2020 but rated it Lean Republican in 2022.

Julio Garza and Vanessa Tijerina also ran in the Democratic primary.



Van Taylor ends re-election campaign for Texas’ 3rd Congressional District

On March 2, a day after placing first in the Republican primary for Texas’ 3rd Congressional District, incumbent Van Taylor announced he was ending his re-election bid. In his announcement, Taylor admitted to an affair. Taylor was first elected in 2018.

Taylor won 48.7% of the vote in the primary, but candidates needed more than 50% to avoid a primary runoff election. He and challenger Keith Self, who received 26.5% of the vote, had been scheduled to face off in a May 24 runoff.

Candidates Suzanne Cassimatis Harp, Rickey Williams, and Jeremy Ivanovskis received 20.8%, 2.7%, and 1.3% of the vote, respectively.

In a statement, Taylor said, “About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world. I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life. I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters.”

According to The Texas Tribune, Taylor has until March 16 to officially withdraw from the runoff election. Self would then become the Republican nominee. Self would face Sandeep Srivastava (D), who won the Democratic primary, in the Nov. 8 general election.

The Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol was a prominent subject of disagreement in the race. Taylor was one of two Texas House Republicans—and 35 House Republicans nationwide—who voted on May 19, 2021, to establish a commission to investigate the breach. Taylor said, “there’s a lot of fault and a lot of answers we need about what Nancy Pelosi and her team knew, when they knew it and why the Capitol was not secure.”

Taylor’s opponents criticized him for voting to establish the commission. Self, a retired Collin County judge who listed border security, election integrity, and the Second Amendment as issues he would focus on in Congress, said Taylor’s vote was “the red line for many people in their vote against Van Taylor.”

Texas’ 3rd Congressional District is considered a safe Republican seat.



Crockett and Hamilton advance to runoff in Texas’ 30th Congressional District Democratic primary

Jasmine Crockett and Jane Hamilton advanced to a May 24 runoff in the Democratic primary for Texas’ 30th Congressional District. In the March 1 primary, Crockett received 48.5% of the vote, followed by Hamilton with 17%. No other candidate received more than 10% of the vote. 

Incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson (D) , who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1992, did not seek re-election. The Cook Political Report and other outlets rated the 30th district Solid Democratic. Media attention focused on Crockett, Hamilton, and Jessica Mason.

Crockett has represented Texas House District 100 since January 2021 and was among the Texas House members who left the state in protest of SB1, which made a series of changes to Texas’ election administration laws. “There’s a number of people who will most likely enter this race. There are none that I believe will enter this race that have been battle tested like I have this session,” Crockett said. She said she supported “Economic recovery that includes all, fair district maps, expanding healthcare and access to the ballot box, lowering property taxes, and reforming the criminal justice and policing systems.” Johnson and a number of Texas state representatives endorsed Crockett.

Hamilton served as an adviser on Pres. Joe Biden’s (D) 2020 campaign in Texas and worked as an online program manager. She emphasized her local support, saying, “There is no other candidate in this race that has such broad support throughout the district” and the race would be “determined by the candidate who works the hardest and gets out their supporters. And I’m experienced doing just that.” Hamilton said she supported criminal justice reform, expanding access to healthcare, and “Voters Rights legislation which prohibits States from disenfranchising people of color.” Hamilton’s endorsers included U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D), Texas State Rep. Chris Turner (D), State Sen. Beverly Powell (D), and several local officials.

Barbara Mallory Caraway, Arthur Dixon, Vonciel Jones Hill, Keisha Lankford, Abel Mulugheta, and Roy Williams Jr. also ran in the March 1 primary.



Morgan Luttrell wins TX-08 Republican primary

Morgan Luttrell won the Republican primary for Texas’ 8th Congressional District on March 1. As of March 3, he’d received 52% of the vote. Christian Collins was second with 22% and Jonathan Hullihan third with 13%.

The Texas Tribune‘s Patrick Svitek wrote that the race “boiled over into a tense proxy war, with some of the best-known Republicans in Texas — and the country — split between two of the leading candidates.” Luttrell had endorsements from former Gov. Rick Perry (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), and the Congressional Leadership Fund, among others. Collins’ endorsers included Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), House Freedom Action.

Both candidates, along with eight others in the race, had filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. The following are excerpts from Luttrell’s and Collins’ responses to a question about what public policy areas they were personally passionate about:

  • Luttrell: “Like you, I will not allow the conservative values we’re teaching our children to be threatened by DC. As our Congressman, I will bring bold leadership, put America first, fight to finish the Wall, stop radical indoctrination in our kids’ classrooms, defend from increasing cybersecurity threats, stand with Israel, and protect America from the threat of Russia and China and socialists here at home.”
  • Collins: “Christian’s top three issues are fighting for election integrity, working to finish the wall and secure the border, and fighting against the radical indoctrination of our youth and backing pro-America education. This isn’t to say that he is not passionate about other issues too, but he believes that if we don’t tackle these three issues first then we aren’t going to have a country.”

Three independent election forecasters rate the Nov. 8 general election Safe or Solid Republican.

Additional reading: