Three-term incumbent State Representative Ken King narrowly avoided a runoff for the Republican primary by a mere 186 votes. The seventeen-county district saw two candidates challenge King – banking and finance businessman Jason Huddleston and Richard Beyea, owner of an oil and gas company. King’s voting record caused him to be ranked as the 4th most liberal Republican in the Texas House according to Dr. Mark Jones of Rice University. Both Huddleston and Beyea touted their conservative beliefs in an effort to distinguish themselves from King.
By the narrowest of margins, voters in House District 88 ultimately decided to stick with King.
Here’s a quick look at the numbers:
|Texas House District 88 – By The Numbers|
|Ken King (I)||Jason Huddleston||Richard Beyea|
|Total Money Raised||$604,612.81||$158,187.5||$52,760|
|Total Number of Donations||345||169||46|
|Average Donation Amount||$1,752.50||$936.02||$1,146.96|
|Total Money Raised In-District||$40,825||$8,462.5||$35,760|
|Total Number of Donations In-District||65||54||29|
|Percent of All Money Raised From In-District||6.75%||5.35%||67.78%|
|Total Money Raised Outside District||$563,787.81||$149,725||$17,000|
|Total Number of Donations Outside District||280||115||17|
|Percent of All Money Raised From Outside District||93.25%||94.65%||32.22%|
|Cost Per Vote||$41.06||$17.86||$54.50|
In legislative races across the state, the numbers showed us that the real battle was not only between candidates for legislative office, but also between the underlying factions each candidate represents. Competitive Republican primary races across Texas featured these two ingredients: an establishment incumbent whose top donors included Joe Straus-supported organizations, Associated Republicans of Texas and Texas House Leadership Fund, versus a conservative challenger whose top donors included Empower Texans and Texas Right to Life. The race for HD 88 fell along those same lines, as King was supported by establishment groups and Huddleston received his biggest contributions from conservative organizations.
Key Takeaways from the HD 88 race:
Before you go…
It’s not unusual for candidates to bet big on themselves, especially if they have a good chance to win. By all accounts, Richard Beyea was a long shot in the race for HD 88, but it didn’t stop him from loaning his campaign $200,000. Money well spent? Maybe, if he decides to challenge King again in two years and voters remember his name. If not, those loans might be painful to repay.
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.