With campaign finance reports in for the first three weeks of January, records show at least two out of the three incumbent Texas Supreme justices up for re-election this year hold a financial edge over their Republican challengers.
Financially speaking, the tightest contest is the race for Place 3, where Houston appellate Justice Michael Massengale is challenging incumbent Justice Debra Lehrmann.
Lehrmann has a quarter of a million dollars on hand and raised more than $40,000 from Jan. 1 to Jan. 21, campaign finance records show.
Lehrmann’s largest donation came from Jackson Walker LLP PAC, a $5,000 contribution made Jan. 7.
Massengale, who received the thumbs up from Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC in December, was armed with more than $377,000 when reports were due on Feb. 1.
In the first three weeks of January, he raised $18,610 – a total that includes a $1,500 donation made by Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham.
Massengale also received a $5,000 donation from Repcon engineer Robert Parker.
For Place 9, Justice Eva Guzman faces Joe Pool, an attorney at law that has been criticized in the past for his Democratic associations.
Heading into the March primary, Guzman has more than $468,081.04 cash on hand.
According to her latest campaign finance report, she’s raised $125,990, receiving numerous donations from law firms and business executives across the state.
Some of the more notable donations include:
- A $10,000 donation made Jan. 21 by Fullbright & Jaworski LLP Texas Committee PAC;
- A $1,000 donation made Jan. 14 by PAC of the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas;
- A $5,000 donation made Jan. 18 by Robert Parker of Repcon;
- A $10,000 donation made Jan. 21 by Ryan Texas PAC;
- A $5,000 donation made Jan. 18 by Houston attorney Celso Suarez;
- A $7,500 donation made Jan. 19 by Texas Apartment Association PAC; and
- A $2,500 donation made Jan. 11 by Thompson & Knight PAC;
Pool, on the other hand, has less than $12,000 cash on hand and has raised $8,100 in the January time frame.
Pool, who also challenged for a Supreme Court in 2014 and 2012, is his own primary supporter, with a $5,000 donation he made to his campaign on Jan. 11, campaign finance reports show.
In the race for Place 5, Justice Paul Green will attempt to fend of attorney Rick Green.
Paul Green has a little more than $212,000 left in his war chest, raising nearly $55,000 in the first three weeks of January.
His more sizeable contributions include:
- A $2,500 contribution made Jan. 12 by Richard Castro;
- A $2,500 contribution made Jan. 12 by Jerry Crews of Energy Quest Management;
- A $2,500 contribution made Jan. 10 by Energy Quest President Wayne Greenwalt;
- A $5,000 contribution made Jan. 7 by Jackson Walker LLP PAC;
- A $5,000 contribution made Jan. 18 by Repcon President Robert Parker; and
- A $10,000 contribution made Jan. 19 by Texas Apartment Association PAC.
Rick Green, who has no judicial experience, actually outraised his counterpart, raking in nearly $59,000. He has more than $72,000 cash on hand.
Some of his larger donations include:
- A $5,000 donation made Jan. 20 by Tim Horner of Premier Designs;
- A $5,000 donation made Jan. 17 by Jeff Sanders, an Oklahoma rancher;
- A $5,000 donation made Jan. 20 by Texas Homeschool Coalition PAC;
- A $1,000 donation made Jan. 6 by Sam Turk, a retired U.S. Army general; and
- A $5,000 donation made Jan. 6 by actress Kelly Welch, listed employer Mission City Press.
The Texas Republican Primary is March 1.