Democrat Michele Leal is the lead fundraiser in the race for HD-148. The race to replace retiring state Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) has drawn the largest field of candidates of any of the three special elections on the ballot this year.
One independent, three Republicans and a dozen Democrats are running to represent HD-148, which represents a large portion of inner-loop Houston.
The 30-Day campaign finance reports, which were released on Tuesday, show Leal with a commanding lead in the campaign cash department.
Leal’s report shows that she has raised about $100,000 and has spent only $9,300. She also has approximately $61,000 cash on hand.
Leal is a consultant for EnFocus Group, an organization that works to bridge gaps in LGBTQ inclusive workplace cultures. She also served as a member of the Latin Women’s Initiative’s board of directors and as co-chair of the Latino Texas PAC.
Leal is also a member of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Hispanic Advisory Board. The candidate with the second-highest fundraising total is Anna Eastman, who has pulled in a little more than $50,000.
Eastman, a former HISD board president, has burned through about $22,000 and has just under $28,500 on hand. Of the two Republicans in the race, only one had filed a finance report by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Luis La Rotta raised $6,500 and has spent $3,900. La Rotta, a U.S. Navy veteran, has about $3,200 cash on hand.
Chris Carmona, a civil practice attorney who challenged Farrar in 2014 as a Republican, is the sole independent in the race. Carmona also has the lowest fundraising total in the race.
Carmona’s raised $830 and spent $5,400. Carmona reports that he has $830 in cash on hand.