The FEC finally has fundraising totals for all the major declared candidates in the 2012 Texas Senate race. Ranked from most to least, they are:
- Tom Leppert: Raised $2,690,081 (including a $1,600,000 loan) and still has $2,592,219 on hand
- Ted Cruz: Raised $1,013,060 (including a $70,000 loan) and has $965,153 on hand
- Roger Williams: Raised $598,470 (including a $250,000 loan) and has $1,250,300 on hand
- Michael Williams: Raised $418,619 (including $132,160 in loans) and has $369,369 on hand
- Elizabeth Ames Jones: Raised $122,185 and has $128,541 on hand
Despite later starts than their opponents, Leppert and Cruz are clearly setting the pace here. Both seem to be raising money and campaigning hard, and Cruz has generated a significant swell of grass-roots enthusiasm. If they can keep this up, both will be serious contenders to make the runoff in March, with or without Lt. Governor David Dewhurst entering the race.
Roger Williams has raised enough to stay in the game, but despite the endorsement of former President George H. W. Bush (a legendary rainmaker with a well-oiled fundraising machine), there’s no sign that the Bush dynasty has put the full force of their fundraising prowess behind him. He’ll need to knock out Leppert (or Dewhurst, if he runs) to make the runoff, and so far he shows no signs of doing it.
Michael Williams has also raised enough to stay in the game, and probably has grassroots enthusiasm second only to Cruz, but he needs to pick up the pace if he wants to remain competitive. The current pace isn’t going to get it done, and he can’t make the runoff unless Cruz slips.
Ever since I posted on Elizabeth Ames Jones’ paltry fundraising efforts, I’ve been trying to figure out a reason for her to stay in the race. I haven’t come up with one. If there’s any significant enthusiasm for her campaign out among Texas Republicans, it takes more sensitive scientific instruments than I possess to measure. I don’t see her candidacy filling any sort of ideological void, and the sort of people who would vote for her solely based on her sex are not the same people who vote in a Republican primary. While there’s a lot of time left in the campaign, unless she can figure out how to make some serious noise (say, launching a series of non-stop attacks on Leppert for being a secret RINO) she should probably get out of the race.
A few other fundraising tidbits gleaned from the FEC reports:
Sean Hubbard, thus far the only declared Democratic candidate, raised $6,511.
Among the longshots, Andrew Castanuela ($262) and Lela Pettinger ($150) are hardly setting the world on fire, but Magnolia funeral home-owner Glenn Addison (who’s running on a social conservative platform) managed to pull in $20,432 (even if $6,877 was in loans), or about one sixth what Jones, a statewide office holder who has been running for about a year, pulled in over the same period of time. For someone with no real chance of winning the nomination, that’s pretty impressive. Mr. Addison won’t be the next U.S. Senator from Texas, but he might do very well in a local race should he choose to run for one in 2014.