Crunching The New Campaign Finance Numbers In Texas After Harvey

“Certainly not tasteful to raise money from people who’ve been devastated (from Hurricane Harvey) and lost everything,” said U.S. Reps. John Culberson of Houston

Some of Texas’ U.S. Congressional delegation at the opening of Austin’s VA clinic on August 22, 2013 include, l to r, Sen. Ted Cruz, Congressmen Lloyd Doggett, John Carter, Michael McCaul, Joe Barton and Roger Williams.

Over the weekend, incumbents and federal candidates jockeying for office in 2018 submitted what their campaigns raked in and spent during the third quarter of the year. 

Here are a few blurbs we thought were worth the highlight

• Democrats are showing some (financial) strength. In July, four GOP congressional incumbents from Texas were outraised by their Democratic opponents in the second quarter of the year. This time around, that number shrunk to two, with U.S. Reps. John Culberson of Houston and Lamar Smith of San Antonio being surpassed by their Democratic challengers for a second round in a row. But other GOP congressmen, such as Reps. Pete Sessions of Dallas and Will Hurd of Helotes, posted strong third quarters. 

• Hurricane Harvey may have hindered fundraising — which is something Culberson pointed to, saying it is “certainly not tasteful to raise money from people who’ve been devastated and lost everything.” Both Republican and Democratic candidates are reporting lukewarm third-quarter hauls, and there appears to be another large undercurrent, at least on the Democratic side: Donors are waiting to fork over cash until fields of contenders shape up after the primaries, per an operative with a super PAC that backs Democratic House candidates. 

• There’s still one report left to go. Registered candidates have to file what they raised and spent between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 by the end of January 2018. Between now and then, expect more hopefuls to chuck their hats into the ring — Exhibit A — and others to withdraw their bids amid dried-up coffers. Things on the GOP side will soon heat up ahead of the state’s competitive March primary season.