Elections 2020FederalTexas Members in Competitive Congressional Seats Get Fundraising Boost in First Quarter

The latest federal campaign finance reports show that Ted Cruz and Dan Crenshaw raised the most out of Republicans, while Lizzie Fletcher and Colin Allred were the highest-raising Democrats.
April 19, 2021
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After the large spending in competitive Texas congressional races that resulted in no gains or losses for either party, members in those seats have spent the first quarter of 2021 rebuilding their campaign war chests.

The latest Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports, covering the period from January 1 through March 31, show that most of Texas’ top fundraisers had faced the closest reelections last year.

Obvious exceptions to that are the three Republicans who raised the most money — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02) and Van Taylor (R-TX-03).

Cruz was not on the ballot last year and his Senate seat will not be up for reelection until 2024 — when he may try his hand at a race for the presidency again — but with his national recognition, he consistently raises high amounts.

Between his committees of Ted Cruz for Senate and the Ted Cruz Victory Committee, the junior senator reported raising $4.9 million and ended the period with $5.7 million cash-on-hand.

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Including a third committee — the Jobs, Freedom and Security PAC — spokesman Steve Guest said that Cruz raised a total of $5.3 million in the period, with an average donation of $41.

Next to Cruz, the highest-raising Republicans were Crenshaw and Taylor, who both received 55 percent of the vote in their semi-competitive districts last year.

Crenshaw, another nationally recognized Texas politician, continued his streak of raking in millions, reporting $2.1 million new funds raised that brings his total cash-on-hand to $2.8 million.

Taylor raised $576,000 and reported a cash-on-hand total of $508,000.

The two Democrats to raise the most were both first elected in 2018 and had their seats targeted by Republicans in 2020: Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-07) and Colin Allred (D-TX-32). 

Fletcher, who won reelection with 51 percent of the vote, reported raising $667,000 — the most out of any Texas representative besides Crenshaw. Her total cash-on-hand, which was at $61,000 at the end of last year, now sits at $663,000.

Allred won with a slightly wider margin at 52 percent, and in the first quarter of 2021, he reported raising $565,000, bringing his cash-on-hand to $551,000.

The other member to raise over half a million dollars was Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23), who won election to the open seat last year with 51 percent of the vote.

Gonzales raised $557,000 and reported $438,00 cash-on-hand.

Reps. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24) and Troy Nehls (R-TX-22), the two other freshmen representatives who had close races, raised $313,000 and $147,000, respectively.

Van Duyne won the most contested congressional election in Texas last year, leading her Democratic opponent by 4,600 votes and winning with only 49 percent of the vote.

Out of the members in competitive seats, Nehls’ raised the least. But the former Fort Bend County sheriff was similarly vastly outraised in both the primary and general elections last year, winning the latter with 52 percent of the vote.

Two other seats that Democrats hoped to nab in 2020 belong to Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) and Chip Roy (R-TX-21), but the incumbents kept their seats each with 52 percent of the vote.

Likewise, McCaul and Roy raised comparatively more in the first quarter than most other Texas members, bringing in $436,000 and $302,000, respectively.

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15), who had an unexpectedly close reelection, raised $181,000, bringing his largely untapped war chest to $1.3 million.

Notably, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX-08), recently announced his planned retirement from Congress but still raised $276,000 during the quarter.

In contrast, Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX-34), who also announced that he would not be seeking reelection, reported raising only $9,000.

The full fundraising, spending, and cash-on-hand totals for members of the Texas delegation can be found below. Note that the totals for Cruz include the combined totals from Ted Cruz for Senate and the Ted Cruz Victory Committee.

CandidateDistrictCash on HandExpendituresReceipts
Ted Cruz (R)*Sen$5,691,159.08$4,173,308.64$4,916,920.74
Dan Crenshaw (R)*2$2,780,222.94$1,218,979.30$2,146,487.55
Lizzie Fletcher (D)*7$663,463.82$64,901.64$667,268.81
Van Taylor (R)*3$508,331.99$90,594.88$576,428.88
Colin Allred (D)*32$550,725.98$173,361.88$564,665.48
Tony Gonzales (R)*23$438,217.06$151,208.90$557,002.68
Michael McCaul (R)*10$339,481.63$104,192.84$435,940.78
Beth Van Duyne (R)*24$256,176.63$124,988.19$313,380.70
Chip Roy (R)*21$505,666.82$260,267.56$302,351.60
Ronny Jackson (R)*13$310,631.46$361,843.71$285,335.93
Kevin Brady (R)*8$1,211,125.55$167,439.60$275,898.09
John Cornyn (R)*Sen$715,523.93$191,907.47$273,970.71
Henry Cuellar (D)*28$1,651,859.88$161,944.82$263,331.97
Roger Williams (R)*25$167,401.54$63,826.02$219,685.72
Vicente Gonzalez (D)*15$1,252,678.58$298,844.26$181,030.36
John Carter (R)*31$286,248.29$88,326.19$174,168.94
August Pfluger (R)*11$618,046.78$123,798.87$147,439.16
Troy Nehls (R)*22$132,298.33$38,902.78$147,020.48
Kay Granger (R)*12$366,907.76$81,354.16$137,596.54
Michael Cloud (R)*27$308,344.80$64,810.87$130,783.80
Lance Gooden (R)*5$471,278.38$77,267.00$96,010.65
Joaquin Castro (D)*20$150,608.13$56,074.36$90,935.22
Veronica Escobar (D)*16$309,202.21$55,775.05$80,121.98
Louie Gohmert (R)*1$36,688.59$71,610.03$74,637.05
Marc Veasey (D)*33$414,820.77$120,016.89$66,494.10
Brian Babin (R)*36$785,122.87$52,984.33$53,025.92
Michael Burgess (R)*26$89,626.73$104,364.90$51,494.92
Lloyd Doggett (D)*35$5,193,748.79$63,079.41$51,353.00
Jodey Arrington (R)*19$839,732.35$309,052.66$49,431.00
Al Green (D)*9$248,240.58$19,554.51$27,989.00
Sylvia Garcia (D)*29$227,789.49$47,765.12$27,955.63
Pete Sessions (R)*17$99,461.35$91,262.89$24,734.43
Randy Weber (R)*14$453,379.22$38,972.18$21,944.24
Pat Fallon (R)*4$117,572.99$65,545.78$21,010.00
Eddie Johnson (D)*30$386,341.43$38,843.87$9,500.00
Filemon Vela (D)*34$525,821.29$47,524.69$8,626.00
Sheila Jackson Lee (D)*18$145,226.86$30,997.93$8,405.00

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.