The Adrian Garcia for Mayor campaign reports raising $1.5 million in the 56 days it had to raise funds before the first reporting deadline. Giving credit to grassroots energy and a base of loyal supporters, Garcia states that voters are attracted to his fiscally responsible management practices during his terms as Sheriff.
Garcia: “Our message that we reformed the Sheriff’s Office, saved the taxpayers millions of dollars, and kept people and families safe is resonating with voters across Houston. We will bring that same fiscally responsible approach and smart management practices to tackle the tough issues at City Hall. The broad base of support we have already built puts us well on the way to victory in November.”
Local pundits had stated that for Garcia to look viable he would need to report raising at least $500k during this period, shortened because he was still on the job as Sheriff. Pundits also stated he would need to raise $2 million or more to run a viable campaign thru the first round. What this blogger noticed upon Garcia’s launch was a burst of energy and excitement from supporters that I hadn’t seen in a local campaign, especially from people who aren’t always involved in the political process. From Garcia, I expect a pretty different campaign than what we have seen from others in the recent past.
That said, for perspective, Garcia’s fundraising abilities seem to be pretty awesome if one considers the first Annise Parker campaign in 2009 raised about $800,000 in a period of five months. Garcia’s campaign calls it unprecedented in Harris County. I’m not surprised that he could do it given the energy that is backing him up, but I think I did let out a “¡Hijole!” when I read the press release. Or something like that.
Garcia’s campaign is quick to point out that he basically started from zero in the fundraising department and that he did not transfer any money from his Sheriff’s campaign account. As the Garcia campaign stated:
“We have always believed that Texas Ethics Commission rules and the City of Houston’s campaign finance laws were clear that it is inappropriate to raise money into an account for a different office with the intent to transfer those funds into a city campaign account. We saw this recently in San Antonio when Leticia Van De Putte ultimately decided not to transfer funds from her lieutenant governor’s campaign account into her mayoral campaign account.”
As some will recall, Garcia opponent, Sylvester Turner went on a fundraising frenzy during his re-election campaign for State Representative and it is known that he will be transferring as much of the million dollars in his legislative account into his mayoral campaign account as possible. It is what it is, I guess.
Obviously, I’m looking forward to the actual report, but I am told that in-kind contributions to Garcia were minimal considering that we’re talking seven figures in total contributions. So, we await the press releases and finance reports from everyone else in the race. I can’t say I’m a fan of money races in politics, but, as they say, “money isn’t everything in a campaign, but it helps.”