GALVESTON

U.S. Rep. Randy Weber holds a sizable fundraising lead over the four people who’ve said they plan to challenge him in the 2018 GOP primary and midterm elections.

Weber, a Republican from Friendswood, had $424,713.39 cash on hand at the end of September, according to recently filed quarterly campaign finance reports.

Sunday was the deadline for candidates to file reports about money raised from July to September of this year.

The amount in Weber’s campaign fund is more than 30 times that of his closest declared opponent, former Galveston County election official Bill Sargent.

Sargent, who declared his candidacy in August, reported $12,258 on hand as of Sept. 30.

Democratic candidate Adrienne Bell reported having $4,080.86 cash on hand.

Weber raised more than $200,000 in the third quarter alone. Sargent raised more than $16,000, and Bell raised more than $23,000.

The 2018 midterm elections are expected by many to be a referendum on President Donald Trump and Republicans in Washington — and some Texas Congressional seats could be up for grabs.

Democrats would need to win 24 seats in Congress to retake control of the House of Representatives, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has announced it’s targeting 80 congressional races around the country to support Democrats challenging Republican incumbents.

The 14th Texas Congressional District, which Weber holds, is not on that list, however, and with more than a year until Election Day, there are few indicators his incumbency will be seriously challenged.

Weber has spent $169,523.18 so far on his 2018 campaign, according to reports. During his re-election campaign in 2016, he spent a total of $473,871 to beat challenger Michael Cole, who only spent $23,159 for the entire campaign.

Weber was first elected in 2012. He succeeded former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, although in a redrawn congressional district. The district includes Galveston, Jefferson and Brazoria counties.

Besides Bell, there are two other Democratic candidates listed by the Federal Election Commission as candidates in the election, but did not report any spending or donations as of Sunday.

Levy Q. Barnes, Jr. is a teacher and motivational speaker from Port Arthur. He filed candidacy paperwork on July 31.

Lawrence Tylka is a personal injury attorney from League City. He declared his candidacy to the Federal Election Commission on Aug. 16.

The first day for candidates to file for a place on Texas’ 2018 primary ballots is Nov. 11.

Texas’ 2018 primary elections are on March 6.

The midterm elections are on Nov. 6.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

Third Quarter Fundraising, Texas Congressional District 14

 Raised in 3Q Raised Total Cash on Hand
Randy Weber (R) $58,090.00 $200,841.03 $424,713.39
Adrienne Bell (D) $11,553.31 $23,668.27 $4,080.86
Bill Sargent (R) $16,649.00 $16,649.00 $12,258.00

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