Amid the departure of eight Texas congressmen, the reshuffling in Texas politics left an open state house seat in Central Texas. Incumbent State Representative Jason Isaac decided not to seek re-election, opting instead for an ultimately failed bid to go to D.C.
A five-way race ensued to represent Hays and Blanco counties in the House District 45 Republican primary. Ken Strange defeated Amber Pearce, Naomi Narvaiz, Austin Talley, and Amy Akers. Strange’s closest competition in the race was Amber Pearce.
Here’a a quick look at the numbers:
|Texas House District 45 – By The Numbers|
|Ken Strange||Amber Pearce|
|Total Money Raised||$83,275.60||$130,903.38|
|Total Number of Donations||146||23|
|Average Donation Amount||$570.37||$5,691.45|
|Total Money Raised In-District||$59,300.60||$126,725|
|Total Number of Donations In-District||117||10|
|Percent of All Money Raised From In-District||71.21%||96.81%|
|Total Money Raised Outside District||$23,975||$4,178.38|
|Total Number of Donations Outside District||29||13|
|Percent of All Money Raised From Outside District||28.79%||3.19%|
|Cost Per Vote||$3.93||$36.11|
Strange won without a runoff, an impressive feat, given the number of people in the race and how little he spent. His campaign may very well have been the least expensive successful campaign in recent memory. Strange is an Air Force Veteran, school board member, and Director of Wimberly EMS. Amber Pearce and her husband have five kids and built an oil and gas company together in Blanco County. While the HD 45 race wasn’t much on the radar for Austin insiders, things could be different next cycle. Like most lawmakers within the Texas Republican House caucus, Strange will likely have to choose whether to side more with conservative or liberal Republican members. It’s easy to create enemies in Austin, and having an already known opponent in-district who can self-fund a campaign could spell problems.
Key Takeaways from the HD 45 Race:
Before you go…
Former Republican Chairman of Public Education, Jimmie Don Aycock isn’t entirely absent from the Texas political scene since retiring. Chairman Aycock contributed $100 to Strange’s efforts. Perhaps Aycock also preferred Strange’s support of public education rather than Pearce’s preference for school choice.
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.