In the race to replace Craig Eiland as the District 23 state representative, the three candidates have raised more than $210,000.

That’s with about a month left before early voting in the primaries starts and 10 months before the November election.

Two Republicans, Wayne Faircloth and Bob Senter, and Democrat Susan Criss, a former district court judge, are running.

When it comes to fundraising, Criss is the early front-runner, having built a $111,600 war chest, according to her campaign finance report filed last week.

That’s with only a few weeks of being able to raise money since she resigned from the bench.

She might need it. While Eiland, a Democrat, was able to hold off Republican challenges, the margin of victory closed considerably the past two elections.

Senter, a partner in a Texas City-based insurance firm, leads his GOP opponent, having raised $54,400.

Faircloth, a Galveston resident who owns a Dickinson insurance agency and who was the party’s nominee two years ago, raised $44,700.

Senter gets larger donations

About 20 percent of Senter’s campaign donations come from bigger-money donations of $2,000 or more.

His biggest contribution so far is from Vic Pierson, president of Moody National Bank, who wrote a $3,560.53 check.

Three donors gave $2,500 to Senter’s campaign.

Senter also has 15 $1,000 donors. Among those are Texas First Bank executives Chuck Doyle, Matt Doyle and Christopher Doyle as well as Gary Potter, husband of Texas First Bank President Kitty Potter.

Senter’s insurance Firm Rust, Ewing, Watt and Haney is owned by Texas First Bank.

Sullivan Enterprises executives Rocky and Gerald Sullivan also each gave Senter $1,000.

State Farm support for Faircloth

Faircloth had seven contributors who kicked in $2,000 or more to support his campaign.

Gary and Greg Angel of Baytown each gave Faircloth $5,000 and are his campaign’s top individual donors.

The Accountability First Political Action Committee contributed $4,000 in two donations to Faircloth’s campaign.

There are three other $2,500 donors, including the State Farm Agents PAC.

That isn’t the only support Faircloth has from his fellow State Farm agents. Twenty-five donations came from agents or employees of State Farm agencies.

The State Farm donations, not including the PAC, total $8,375, according to Faircloth’s report.

Criss’ war chest builds fast

Criss also has a lot of big-money donations.

Seventy-five percent of her $111,000 war chest comes from 17 donors who gave her campaign $2,000 or more. Of those, 15 gave her campaign $5,000 or more and most of those are attorneys or law firms.

The biggest single contribution was $10,000 from the Burwell Nebout Firm in Texas City.

Attorney Amber Mostyn, head of the Annie’s list, the Texas version of Emily’s list, which pushes women’s issues, gave Criss $5,000. 

Mostyn, wife of plaintiffs’ attorney and major Democratic Party backer Steve Mostyn, is one of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ top backers.

Other notable $5,000 donors include Eiland, attorney John Williams and plaintiffs’ attorney Robert Ammons.

Criss, who is expected to get a lot of union support, had a handful of labor donors with the Plumbers Local 68 PAC leading the way with $1,000.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or

(1) comment

Gary Miller

Has the Tea Party made their choice? Tea Party votes are worth a lot more than dollars.

In 2010 there were 140 recognized Tea Party groups. Today there are 305.
215 Tea Party groups were harrased by the IRS from 2009 to 2014. Yes they still are. Democrats are actually trying to make IRS attacks on political opponents legal.

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