HD-28 candidate Eliz Markowitz raises $60,000 from more than 800 donors

HD-28 Texas

In the race to represent Fort Bend County, Eliz Markowitz is leading the field when it comes to small-donor fundraising. In her nearly 200-page campaign finance report, Markowitz detailed about $60,000 in contributions from 880 people. 

Markowitz, along with the rest of the candidates, released her 30-day campaign finance report on Tuesday. These filings are the last glimpse voters will have into the campaigns before early voting starts on Oct. 21. 

Many of the donors in Markowitz’s report gave $5 and $10, with some donating as little as $2. Though some contributors are repeat donors, she didn’t take any money from PACs. 

Of the money Markowitz has raised, she’s only spent about $16,000. Although Markowitz has an impressive amount of cash on hand, she remains a distant third when it comes to campaign liquidity.

Tricia Krenek is going into the home stretch with $113,067 in her coffers. Krenek raised $30,000 spent $67,000 and loaned her campaign $150,000.

Krenek takes second place in the largest personal loan to a campaign contest, that prize goes to Gary Gates who’s sunk $271,000 of his own money into his campaign.

Although Markowitz hasn’t had to loan her campaign any money, her impressive fundraising total is still only enough to get her second place in the donor primary.

Anna Allred released her fundraising numbers early and posted a total of about $160,000. Allred’s money came from just 140 donors — the majority of whom are physicians. Allred also took $123,500 from medical and anesthesiologist PACs and loaned her campaign $20,000.

Allred is burning through cash almost as fast as she’s raising it. She’s spent $142,234 on the race, more than $60,000 of which went to campaign consultants and PR firms. 

However, when it comes to campaign spending none of the candidates can top Gates. Gates has raised $265 from nine donors and spent $213,552. As in his six previous races, the multimillionaire is largely self-financing his campaign. 

Despite the low fundraising numbers, Gates doesn’t take the cake for the lowest reported fundraising total. That dubious honor goes to Sarah Laningham. 

Laningham reported a fundraising total of $100. She also reported $2,199 in campaign expenses and $100 cash on hand.

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HD-029 Ed Thompson 

Ed Thompson (R-Pearland) is a five-time representative with a reputation for shady campaign tactics. For more than a year, Thompson has been dogged by concerns about whether or not he had a stand-in during the 2018 Democratic primary.  

The questions stem from James Presley’s campaign. Presley, a Libertarian political writer, announced his decision to run for the Democratic nomination. 

Having spent many years in San Antonio, Presley was a virtual unknown in the district when he beat primary opponent Dylan Wilde Forbis Forbis 59.7 percent to 40.3 percent. Presley didn’t raise any money and he didn’t do any campaigning. 

Although a lackadaisical attitude towards campaigning is unusual, it generally isn’t enough for corruption allegations to start flying. But Presley’s decision to drop out of the race after he secured the nomination led to concerns by some that he was a Thompson stooge.

Under Texas law, a candidate has to file a declaration of candidacy with the Texas Secretary of State or the county judge no later than 5 p.m. on the 78th day before the general election. The 2018 general election was held on Nov. 6. 

Presley announced he was dropping out of the race on Aug. 18 — 79 days before the election and one day after the write-in deadline, which prevented Forbis from filing to run as a Democrat. 

Along with possibly unethical campaigning, Thompson is also known for his anti-vaxxer sentiments. 

He opposed mandatory vaccinations for foster children and voted against a bill that would have let unvaccinated teenagers consent to vaccines.  

HD-043 J.M. Lozano 

J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville) is a five-time representative who defected when his district was redrawn. Before he ran for office, Lozano was a rising star in Democratic politics. 

He’d interned for state Sen. Carlos Truan during college and worked in U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa’s district office after he graduated. When Lozano first ran for office in 2010, he won his seat as a Democrat.

However, after the 2010 Census, Lozano’s district was gerrymandered so that it leaned Republican.  

When Lozano learned he had a better shot at staying in office as a Republican than as a Democrat he discovered he was pro-oil, pro-life and pro-business. He decided the Republican Party was where he needed to be.  

After jumping ship, Lozano supported confidentiality agreements in sexual harassment settlements, opposed equal pay for public employees, and authored a bill that would have made it more difficult for veterans to access their tuition benefits. 

HD-115 Julie Johnson  

Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) is the first openly gay representative from Dallas County. In the most recent legislative session, she opposed a bill that would have increased penalties for protesting pipeline construction. She voted against a bill allowing guns in places of worship and voted to reduce the tax burden on homes damaged during a natural disaster. 

Johnson authored a bill that decriminalized cannabis possession and voted in favor of creating administrative penalties for sexual assault on college campuses. She supported a bill that would have let first responders injured in the line of duty go to college tuition-free. 

She opposed the elimination of the plumbing board and supported the expansion of public information requirements.