Dan Patrick, Ken Paxton out-raise Democratic rivals leading up to Election Day
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans, out-raised their Democratic opponents from July 1 to Sept. 29, while down-ballot Democrats out-raised Republicans in the races for land commissioner, agriculture commissioner and railroad commissioner.
Patrick raised $2.2 million during the three-month period compared with Democratic rival Mike Collier's $1.4 million. The Patrick campaign touted donations from more than 1,100 Texans. Patrick has $16 million in cash on hand for his campaign.
Meanwhile Paxton raised $2.1 million to Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza's $1.6 million. Garza has $1.5 million cash on hand, while Paxton has nearly $4.9 million.
Candidates reported the totals to the Texas Ethics Commission on Tuesday, the deadline for the filing period.
Early voting runs Oct. 24-Nov. 4. Election Day is Nov. 8
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Tight race for Texas attorney general
Recent polls suggest Paxton has a single-digit lead over Garza. The Texas Politics Project poll found Paxton leading Garza by 5 percentage points in August. A September poll by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler indicated Paxton had a 7-point lead.
“Our latest fundraising report shows what I’ve been seeing since the start of this campaign — that Texans from every corner of our state are ready to fire criminally-indicted Ken Paxton," Garza said in a Wednesday press release.
Garza is focusing on Paxton's legal troubles to galvanize voters. Paxton has been under indictment on felony securities fraud charges since 2015. He also is under investigation after his former aides accused him of taking bribes and using his power to help a campaign donor.
Garza, a civil rights lawyer, and Paxton spar over abortion access and border policy, the top issues in the race. Garza recently announced a seven-figure advertising buy for TV and digitals ads. She released a TV ad Tuesday focusing on abortion access.
The candidates also clash over border policy, which Paxton has made his dominant issue.
"There is no doubt that Rochelle Garza can't be trusted to crack down on illegal immigration — she's made it clear with her rhetoric and policies that she wants to welcome even more," Paxton said recently.
Garza, who lives in Brownsville, told the American-Statesman Paxton is using border communities "as a political football" and said he is not investing in those communities but using them to win an election.
Down-ballot Texas Democrats see gains
Three statewide Democratic candidates raised more than their Republican opponents during the third quarter:
Land commissioner (open seat): Democrat Jay Kleberg, conservationist and filmmaker, raised more than $878,000, compared with Republican Dawn Buckingham's more than $565,000. Kleberg also had raised more than Buckingham, a state senator from Lakeway, during the May 15 to June 30 reporting period.
Railroad commissioner: Democrat Luke Warford raised more than $378,000 compared with incumbent Wayne Christian's nearly $125,000
Agriculture commissioner: Democrat Susan Hays, lawyer and farmer, raised more than $111,000 compared with incumbent Sid Miller's $48,000. Miller has more cash on hand.
Republican Comptroller Glenn Hegar, meanwhile, raised more than $324,000 versus Democratic challenger Janet Dudding's nearly $91,000
'Changing minds all across Texas'
Mary Alice Blackstock, campaign manager for Democrat Jay Kleberg for Land Commissioner, told the Statesman, "While Sen. Buckingham avoids public events and debates, Jay is changing minds all across Texas, one voter at a time."
A message and email left with Buckingham's campaign were not immediately returned.
Warford noted his campaign received more than 3,000 individual contributions and his opponent received just over 40.
"That is just a really stark difference in sort of the narrowness of his support and really highlights, I think, the fact that the Railroad Commission is largely influenced and captured by pretty narrow oil and gas executive interests that puts themselves and campaign donors ahead of Texans across the state," Warford told the Statesman.
"Today's report confirmed my opponent is bought and paid for by radical activists who promote policies that would increase energy and food prices while destroying Texas' economy," Christian said in a statement.
Hays said the wave of fundraising support signals voters' interest and willingness to support Democrats and noted the deadly 2021 Texas freeze and blackouts affected a lot of Texans' views.
"Another thing about the Democratic ticket, up and down, is each of us are very well suited for the job we're running for," Hays said.
A phone message left with Miller's campaign was not immediately returned.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Ken Paxton, Dan Patrick out-raise Democrats in third quarter