Heading into the November general election, Republican candidates in Tarrant County report a lead in campaign fundraising.
Countywide races for county judge and district attorney attracted the most money, a total of about $508,000 since Jan. 1. Other contested races for county commission precincts 2 and 4 raised about $174,000. The deadline for campaign filings was July 17. The reports cover money raised from Jan. 1 through June 30.
In the county judge race, Republican Tim O’Hare raised and spent more money than this Democratic opponent, Deborah Peoples. Since Feb. 20, O’Hare has raised nearly $228,00 and spent about $319,000.
Candidates are required to file reports prior to the primaries. Some candidates may choose to only include details extending from the last filing requirement, which is why the window required for reporting could be different.
Most of the money spent, about $297,700, went toward print and television ad buys. O’Hare won the Republican primary race March 1 with 56.95% of the vote against former Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
Tim O’Hare’s top donors include Britt Lane, an executive with Bobby Cox Companies, who contributed $50,000. Don Woodward Jr., president of The Western Companies, contributed $86,000 in cash to the campaign and $10,269 of in-kind, or non-cash, donations.
O’Hare is going into the height of the general race with $82,700 in cash on hand, about $10,000 less than Peoples.
Peoples raised $184,298 from Feb. 19 through June 30 and spent about $104,000. Most of Peoples’ expenditures were in small dollar amounts, with online advertising and campaign expenses like meals and travel.
Peoples handily secured the Democratic nomination in March, winning with 82.64% of the vote. Donations to Peoples’ campaign did not exceed $2,500. Despite the lack of high-dollar donors, Peoples approached O’Hares fundraising numbers.
In the district attorney’s race, while it looks like the candidates raised similar sums of money, the candidates reported different time periods. Phil Sorrells, the Republican candidate, filed reports for May 5 through June 30.
The campaign spent about $65,700 on advertising, texting and phone banks.
Campaign reports for Tiffany Burks, the Democratic candidate, extended from Feb. 20 through June 30. The campaign spent about $24,800 on advertising and fundraising.
Burks won outright in the Democratic primary while Sorrells won against former State Rep. Matt Krause in a runoff May 24.
At the precinct level, two county commission seats are up for grabs.
In Precinct 2, Republican Andy Nguyen, who was previously elected in Precinct 2, and Democrat Alisa Simmons, an entrepreneur, are facing off for Democrat Devan Allen’s seat. Precinct 2 takes up most of southeast Tarrant County including Arlington. Nguyen has raised twice the amount compared to Simmons over a longer, about two months, time period.
In the Precinct 4 race, Republican Manny Ramirez, president of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association, is running against Democrat Cedric Kanyind. The precinct includes most of northwest Tarrant County.
Ramirez raised the most money, with about $101,500, of non-countywide candidates. Kanyind did not submit a campaign finance report.
The Tarrant County Law Enforcement Association Political Action Committee contributed $2,500 to Ramirez’s campaign.
The Ramirez campaign spent about $43,800 on advertising print and digital advertising.
The general election will take place Nov. 8. The next round of campaign finance reports will be due Oct. 11, 2022, and cover July 1 through Sep. 29.
Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.