The race to represent State House District 8 (HD8) was one of the most high-profile and costly of the last election cycle. Longtime State Representative Byron Cook, chairman of the powerful State Affairs Committee, was challenged by young businessman Thomas McNutt.
Here’s a quick look at the numbers:
|Texas House District 8 – By The Numbers|
|Byron Cook (I)||Thomas McNutt|
|Total Money Raised||$874,537||$451,851|
|Total Number of Donations||552||677|
|Average Donation Amount||$1,584.31||$667.43|
|Total Money Raised In-District||$41,354||$67,511|
|Total Number of Donations In-District||110||281|
|Percent of All Money Raised From In-District||4.73%||14.94%|
|Total Money Raised Outside District||$833,183||$384,340|
|Total Number of Donations Outside District||442||396|
|Percent of All Money Raised From Outside District||95.27%||85.06%|
|Cost Per Vote||$87.82||$33.27|
HD8 is one of a growing number of hybrid districts in Texas: by no means urban, but also not completely rural. Having no major metropolitan area usually means a district is populated by small towns, which HD8 has plenty of, but there are also larger cities where a significant portion of the voting population resides; in this case Corsicana, Palestine, and Hillsboro make up the larger cities in the district. Both State Rep. Cook and Mr. McNutt reside in Corsicana.
Incumbents naturally have the ability to raise more money than their challengers due to connections they’ve made while serving in office, particularly with lobbyists. Challengers usually have a more difficult time securing funds, especially if they are long-shot candidates, as many considered Mr. McNutt to be at the outset of this race.
Key takeaways from the HD8 race:
Before you go…
An interesting note from our analysis:
Of Mr. McNutt’s top 25 donors, 7 were entities and 18 were individuals.
Of State Rep. Cook’s top 25 donors, 24 were entities and 1 was an individual.
Our Race to Raise series takes a deeper look at the most high-profile races of the election cycle, focusing specifically on money raised by those seeking to serve in public office. Stay tuned for the next installment.