Although the seat has been held by Republicans since the early 1980’s, the demographics of this North Texas district have been shifting in favor of Democrats. Hillary Clinton won the district over Donald Trump by 4.7 percentage points, and Democrats are hopeful that Beto-mania will trickle down to help them flip this district to the blue column.
District Court of Appeals Chief Justice (D)
$460Cash on Hand
1. Governor Greg Abbott ($10,091,875) had quite the haul, raking in more than $10 million in campaign contributions in just twelve days, despite the fact that he has no likely Republican primary challenger or significant Democrat opponent in sight. And he certainly didn’t need the cash – Governor Abbott’s war chest was already one of the largest in the nation; it now registers over $41 million, more than double what he had when he first ran for governor in 2013.
One of the biggest differences distinguishing Empower Texans from other advocacy groups is the fact that they do not lobby elected officials. They do not write bills or meet with lawmakers to ensure passage or failure of particular legislation. Instead, Empower Texans focuses on reporting information to voters about what’s happening at the Capitol and then aiding citizens in holding legislators accountable for their actions. As the most outspoken opponent of current Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, the group is often at odds with Straus’ inner circle, Democrats, and other more moderate Republican legislators. Empower Texans is also known for its promotion of conservative policies and for their scorecard, The Fiscal Responsibility Index, which scores legislators based on votes and positions taken on liberty and self-governance issues. Texas Monthly has called them “one of the most influential advocacy groups in Austin” and has described their scorecard as having the power “to make or break careers.”