Two weeks ago, Transparency USA reported about Forward Majority, a national political action committee (PAC) targeting the Texas House and several other state legislatures with the intent of flipping control to the Democrats ahead of the 2021 redistricting process.
With Democrats only nine seats away from flipping the Texas House, it’s no surprise that Forward Majority is only one of a number of Democratic PACs making serious investments in key Texas swing races going into November.
As a reminder of the stakes for both parties, the 2020 elections will determine which party gets to control the process of redrawing state and federal legislative districts to reflect the decennial census. The party in control during redistricting tends to draw maps in their favor, thereby increasing their power for at least a decade. (Read about redistricting in greater detail here).
Here are some of the top Democratic PACs targeting the Texas Legislature:
This is the first of two state-level PACs in Texas affiliated with the federal Forward Majority super PAC (Federal and state-level PAC affiliates are very easy to confuse. Note that the federal PAC is listed as a donor at the link, but not as a Texas PAC). These PACs are part of an effort that reportedly aims to spend over $6 million on 18 state house districts in an effort to flip the Texas House of Representatives to Democratic control. The latest Transparency USA data shows the PAC has raised $3,918,529 and has $2,848,260 cash on hand.
Forward Majority Action Texas PAC is the second state-level PAC in Texas affiliated with the federal Forward Majority. The federal super PAC is the sole contributor to this Texas PAC, having donated $973,000 so far this election cycle.
The Texas House Majority PAC is another state-level PAC with a federal big brother. This newly created Texas PAC, with the goal to flip the Texas House to Democratic control, reports $582,900 in contributions. Its treasurer is the former executive director of Annie’s List.
Annie’s List is a PAC focused on protecting abortion rights and electing progressive Democratic women candidates in Texas. Current data shows contributions totalling $2,209,752 and $2,139,630 in expenditures, including donations directly to campaigns as well as independent expenditures on candidates’ behalf.
Powered by People PAC is a project by former congressman and Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke. The PAC is reported to be targeting Texas House seats that O’Rourke performed well in during his 2018 Senate campaign. Current data shows the PAC has raised $645,838, has made $428,225 in expenditures, and has $369,387 cash on hand. To date, no expenditures have gone directly to candidates’ campaign accounts. Rather, most of the spending has gone to consultants and independent expenditures like media and ad buys.
Like Forward Majority and Texas House Majority, this PAC is a state-level affiliate of a federal PAC. This group lists flipping the Texas House of Representatives blue as one of their primary goals. As of the most recent reports, the Texas affiliate has over $1 million cash on hand.
A new political action committee, Corazón de la Frontera PAC — or “Heart of the Border” PAC — was recently formed by a coalition of Democratic members of the Texas House from border districts with the goal of flipping the Texas House. The PAC is headed by Speaker Pro Tempore Joe Moody (D-El Paso). Finance data will be available for this PAC with the next reporting period.
While contribution and expenditure data isn’t available yet, the Texas Tribune reported earlier this year that the Michael Bloomberg-associated PAC plans to spend big this election cycle on Texas House races — as much as $8 million in the Lone Star State to support pro-gun control Democratic candidates.
With the anticipated impact of upcoming redistricting at both the state and federal level, the investment into Texas state-level politics continues to pour in from both inside and outside of the targeted districts. The next campaign finance reports are due in early October. As we near the home stretch to the November election, expect to see plenty of new financial activity by these PACs revealed in the upcoming report.
Subscribe to see when that data — including a first look at the Corazón de la Frontera and Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund PACs — becomes available.