Historically, Texas has had its fair share of wheeling and dealing public officials. The list of those who have used “The Honorable” title for personal gain or as a means to evade legal woes is long. Many political insiders in Austin have already added current State Representative Ron Reynolds‘ name to this infamous list. Reynolds has been convicted of multiple misdemeanor charges for illegal solicitation of clients for his law practice and has been accused of a myriad of other legal infractions, all of which he’s challenging in court. Despite a record rife with controversy and actions many would consider unbecoming of a State Representative, he continues to be reelected.
In the 2018 Primary Election, Reynolds was challenged by Fort Bend attorney Wilvin Carter. A former Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney with Fort Bend County, Carter’s legal credentials arguably surpass Reynolds’. But the voters of HD 27 ultimately chose to stick with Reynolds, the man who has represented them since 2011.
Here’s a quick look at the numbers:
|Texas House District 27 – By The Numbers|
|Ron Reynolds (I)||Wilvin Carter|
|Total Money Raised||$65,133||$29,071|
|Total Number of Donations||87||115|
|Average Donation Amount||$748.66||$252.79|
|Total Money Raised In-District||$7,200||$10,463|
|Total Number of Donations In-District||32||45|
|Percent of All Money Raised From In-District||11.05%||35.99%|
|Total Money Raised Outside District||$57,933||$18,608|
|Total Number of Donations Outside District||55||70|
|Percent of All Money Raised From Outside District||88.95%||68.01%|
|Cost Per Vote||$3.99||$7.89|
Time and again political insiders thought Reynolds had finally gone too far, and his legal troubles were about to catch up with him. Yet each time journalists began to write his political obituary, Reynolds somehow survived. His ability to jump through hoops and perform legal jujitsu would be something to admire, were it not so sad. The residents of HD 27 had an opportunity to replace Reynolds with a young and by all accounts enthusiastic man with an impressive list of credentials, yet they did not. Reynolds’ deep ties in the district seemed to play a role, along with the fact that incumbents are hard to beat. But with ongoing legal issues and actual jail time as a real possibility for Reynolds, it’s likely the drama in HD 27 isn’t over.
Key Takeaways from the HD27 race:
Before you go…
While it’s not uncommon for legislators to repay themselves for money they’ve loaned their campaigns, it is quite rare that these payments rank as the number one expenditure for a candidate. But sure enough, Reynolds’ top recipient of funds from his campaign account was none other than himself. Hopefully the donors and PACs who donated to his campaign were aware of what Reynolds would be doing with their contributions. If not, he may face some tough questions.
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.