With only a few days of campaigning remaining in this year’s party primary elections, state Rep. Wayne Faircloth continues to hold a fundraising lead over his challenger for Texas House District 23, Mayes Middleton.

Faircloth raised $78,853 between Jan. 1 and Jan. 25, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission this week. Middleton raised $10,140 in the same period.

Faircloth has now nearly doubled Middleton in the amount of money collected through contributions. In three reports filed since July 2017, Faircloth has reported collecting $296,453 to Middleton’s $151,526.

Middleton has largely self-financed his campaign, and going into the last month of the campaign still had more cash on hand than Faircloth. He has also outspent Faircloth by a wide margin.

Since July, Middleton has reported spending $853,652.19 on the campaign, including more than $276,000 in January. Faircloth has reported spending less than that during the entire campaign.

VOTER REGISTRATION UP

Voter registration in Texas closed this week, locking in the number of people eligible to vote in the March primary elections.

Galveston County Tax Assessor/Collector Cheryl Johnson said there are 204,170 registered voters on the county’s rolls. Johnson said the number may change some after administrative work is completed to clear out some canceled registrations and add registrations that were submitted last minute.

Registrations are canceled when Johnson’s office is notified that a person has moved to a different county and registered there.

Since voter registration opened on Jan. 1, 973 people filed to vote in Galveston County, Johnson said.

In February 2016, there were 197,040 registered voters in Galveston County, Johnson said. The current total is a 3.6 percent increase from two years ago.

DISASTER FUNDING

ON HORIZON?

Wednesday was full of complicated negotiations in Washington involving passage of a spending bill that would avoid another government shutdown. A proposal that emerged late in the day could lead to Texas finally receiving more disaster recovery money.

Senate leaders announced Wednesday they had reached a bipartisan deal to fund the federal government for two years. The deal would increase the federal debt limit and raise caps on military and domestic spending.

The budget deal also includes $90 billion in disaster recovery money for Texas, Florida, California and Puerto Rico.

This was the first time the Senate had broached the topic of disaster recovery funding since the U.S. House of Representatives approved an $81 billion package before Christmas.

The Senate still needs to approve its deal, and receive approval from the House. If an agreement can’t be reached by Friday, the U.S. government could shut down again.

FIRST IN THE NATION

The days left until early voting begins are quickly ticking away, and if it feels like Texas is ahead of the country when it comes to elections, that’s because it is.

Texas has the earliest state primary in the nation. The only other state to have March primary elections is Illinois, which holds its primaries March 20.

In other states, primary elections start as early as May 8, or in Louisiana’s case, as late as Nov. 6.

NOTEBOOK

U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz were among a group of Republican senators to sign a letter calling for new sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile program. ... Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush was endorsed for re-election by Donald Trump Jr. Bush is being challenged by former land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. ... Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro told The Texas Tribune on Wednesday he was interested in running for president in 2020. ... The window for filing ballot applications for local elections closes Feb. 16.

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

(4) comments

Gary Scoggin

Looks like Middleton is bound and determined to buy that seat, no matter what it costs him.

Joe Henry

Why do we only see article about Republicans from you? We hear nothing about Jamrock or Bell. Get out of your Republican bubble Mr. Ferguson.

Carlos Ponce

Amanda Jamrock is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary for District 23 state representative.
Adrienne Bell is opposed by Levy Q Barnes for Congress District 14.
The ballot provides links for each candidate.
http://galvestonvoterinfo.com/galveston-county-political-races#democrat

PD Hyatt

Glad to see Mr. Middleton is staying in the race.... As far as buying things, there are many in the county, State and at the Federal level who spend a fortune on getting into office and then staying there.... Trust me Middleton is not doing anything that other have not.... Look at see what our Washington Congress critters spend to get into and stay in office and then take a look at the insane amount that is spent to get into the White House....

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