Now that lawmakers have convened in Austin, private citizens and PACs are no longer able to make political contributions, so the sole financial influence on lawmakers during the legislative session comes from lobbyists. In fact, in session and out, lobbying is by far the biggest source of money in Texas politics — and taxpayers are footing the bill for a lot of it. This look at the City of Houston is the first installment in our series analyzing the top taxpayer-funded entities in Texas.
District Judge (R)
$867Cash on Hand
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During the March primary, State Representative Rene Oliveira faced off against challengers Arturo Alonzo, an Iraq war veteran, and Cameron County Commissioner, Alex Dominguez. The incumbent Oliveira netted only 48% of the primary vote, forcing him into to a runoff with Dominguez. While Dominguez and Oliveira are both attorneys, the similarities end there. Dominguez capitalized on their age difference, asserting on his campaign website, “It’s time we had a state representative who not only wants to lead but has the energy to fight for you in Austin,” a nod to the incumbent’s 60+ years of age in contrast to Dominguez’s youth. He comically added, “Rene Oliveira has been in office since before AOL.”