Southeast Texas Record

Monday, April 6, 2020

Sole Dem running for HD 28 raises $294K in 30 days – half of funds from out-of-state donors


By David Yates | Oct 31, 2019


HOUSTON – Over the last four weeks, Elizabeth Markowitz, the sole Democrat running in the Nov. 5 special election for House District 28, raised more than $294,000 in contributions – a good portion of which was supplied by groups in Washington D.C.

Dr. John Zerwas, a Republican who retired from the Legislature on Sept. 30, previously held the seat. In addition to Markowitz, six Republicans are also competing.

The race has drawn national interest because it is believed to be the first stepping-stone for Democrats to reclaim the Texas House in 2020.

As previously reported, as soon as early voting began the super PAC Forward Majority started airing a health care-themed ad in support of Markowitz, spending around $200,000.

Forward Majority is not the only out-of-state PAC that wants to see Markowitz elected.

From Sept. 27 to Oct. 26, Markowitz hauled in $294,006.66 in contributions, according to a campaign finance report filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.

More than half (51 percent) of the $294,006.66 raised came from out-of-state contributors, with D.C. donors supplying most of the outside funds –  $106,185.57 in total.

A list of notable Washington donors pouring money into Markowitz campaign includes:

- $25,000, National Democratic Redistricting Committee;

- $15,000, American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees;

- $35,000, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee; and

- $20,000, Future Now Fund.

More locally, Houstonians John and Laura Arnold of the Arnold Foundation have chipped in $10,000 in total, records show.

Austin donors who wish to see Markowitz elected include: the House Democratic Campaign Committee, which gave $25,000; Annie’s List, a pro-abortion group, donated $20,000 in total; and Texans for Insurance Reform, a trial lawyer PAC, provided $10,000.

Will Adams, president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, gave $1,000, as did the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

Justin Nelson, a former Texas attorney general candidate, donated $2,500. 

The Fair and Square PAC, a Dallas-based PAC dedicated to flipping Texas in 2020 and beyond, contributed $10,000.

Democrats gained 12 seats in the Texas House in 2018, shrinking the Republican majority to an 8-seat margin.

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