KILLEEN, Texas (KXAN) — Ahead of early voting, democratic candidates campaigned throughout Central Texas on a chartered bus.
They’re outmatched in campaign cash and resources by Republican incumbents so they’re having to get creative during their “Fair Shot Tour” across Texas.
They came through Killeen for a town hall focused on military families. This was the second stop on day three of a ten-day tour. Earlier in the day they were in Fort Worth. Then, they went to stops in Round Rock and San Antonio.
“We’re getting our message out to all the folks. And they need to hear that. That have a choice,” said former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. She’s running for Governor against incumbent Republican Greg Abbott.
That message they want to get out: more tax dollars for public schools, expanding Medicaid and an economy focused on working-class families.
With exceptions like top of the ticket candidate Beto O’Rourke, most have raised less money than their Republican opponents, so they’re pooling their resources on this tour.
They’re coordinating with better funded and well-known Congressional candidates like Julie Oliver and MJ Hegar. Hegar and Oliver were part of the Killeen and Round Rock events.
“It’s being allocated more wisely than we’ve done in that past. We have enough money. What we’re doing is talking to voters because that’s what it takes to govern, to serve, to know what’s on people’s mind,” said Mike Collier, running against incumbent Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
Even with the coordination, history is against them. Texas hasn’t voted for a Democrat statewide in decades.
“I think in a lot of cases, a lot of areas, a lot of districts, a lot of counties, we haven’t given them those choices and that’s on us for not having done that. But this year they have the opportunity to choose from people with very clear background and with this experience,” said Joi Chevalier, running against incumbent Comptroller Glen Hegar.
KXAN scoured Texas Ethics Commission and Federal Election Commission documents to tally up how much cash on hand each statewide candidate has.
(R) Texans for Greg Abbott – $26,771,051
(D) Lupe Valdez – $302,670
(R) Texans for Dan Patrick – $8,163,873
(D) Mike Collier – $232,822
(R) Ken Paxton – $4,341,968
(D) Justin Nelson – $1,745,318
(R) Sid Miller – $52,606
(D) Kim Olson – $161,854
(R) Glen Hegar – $4,998,498
(D) Joi Chevalier – $18,937
(R) George P. Bush – $826,726
(D) Miguel Suazo – $12,013
(R) Christi Craddick – $1,566,732
(D) Roman McAllen – $5,369