As we have been reporting, the upcoming March 2024 primary and the 2024 Texas Democratic Party’s Presidential State Convention scheduled for June 6, 2024, has candidates for the 2024 election cycle announcing early. About 15 candidates have announced so far their candidacies. During non-election years, campaign finance reports are due on January 15 and on July 15.

Normally, the July 15 finance reports the year before an election are not important in that candidates seeking office do not generally announce early enough to file campaign finance reports. This year, however, several candidates announced early. In addition to the announced candidates, at least one name has been mentioned as a potential contender in the upcoming elections and one recall petition drive has been announced.

El Paso News analyzed the latest campaign finance reports on the announced candidates and selected elected officials. It has been suggested that if the candidates that have announced early have significant campaign funding it would discourage others from challenging them because the funding for political campaigns is limited and significant early campaign funds would make it difficult for challengers to compete. This is particularly true of the race for the sheriff’s office.

Political funding is a good barometer of how much support a candidate may have.

The District Attorney Seat

In the race for the district attorney’s office there are three announced candidates. Bill Hicks was appointed by Texas governor Greg Abbott to replace Yvonne Rosales who resigned last year. Hicks, a Republican will seek to keep his seat. James Montoya, who lost to Rosales, has announced he is seeking the office, as has Nancy Casas. Both are Democrats.

According to the latest reports, Nancy Casas reported raising $11,944,71 and spending $5,583.30, Casas reported having $9,156.86 in campaigns funds left in her account. James Montoya reported raising $8,026.38 in campaign contributions and spending $3,628.52. Montoya reported having $7,490.89 left in campaign funds and an outstanding loan of $20,000. Bill Hicks did not file a campaign finance report for this election cycle, according to the Texas Ethics Commission online reporting tool.

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The Sheriff’s Race

There are three candidates who have announced their intention to replace outgoing Richard Wiles who is not seeking to keep his seat. Ryan Urrutia, who was the first candidate to announce for 2024 reported raising $47,950 in contributions and spending $1,890.86. Urrutia, according to the latest report, has $46,059.14 in campaign funds left.

Bobby Flores, who is also seeking the sheriff’s seat reported raising $37,538 and spending $7,295.56. According to his report, Flores has $30,242,44 left in his campaign.

The other announced candidate for the sheriff’s seat is Raul Mendiola. Mendiola has not filed a campaign fiancé report according to the county’s online campaign finance reporting tool.

Other Races

Marlene Gonzalez is seeking to be re-elected for District Judge District 388. According to her report, Gonzalez received $875 in campaign contributions, spent $180,14 and maintains a campaign balance of $2,500. Gonzalez also has a $15,000 campaign loan outstanding.

Jackie Arroyo Butler who is running for the County Precinct 1 seat currently held by Carlos Leon reported raising $26,652 and spending $8,636.72. Butler has $18,015.28 remaining in campaign funds and an outstanding $250 campaign loan. Leon has announced he will not be seeking re-election.

Incumbent Iliana Holguin is seeking re-election to her County Precinct 3 seat. Holguin reported raising $27,751.00 and spending $5,611 in her latest report. Holguin has $17,298 left in campaign funds and has an outstanding campaign loan of $48,913.

Christina Sanchez who is seeking the County Attorney’s office currently held by Jo Anne Bernal reported raising $20,119 and spending $5,767.24. Sanchez has $16,291.76 left in campaign funds. Bernal is not seeking re-election to her office.

Omar Carmona, who is seeking the 65th District Court judge seat, reported raising $1,300 and spending $1,082. However, Carmona’s campaign finance report does not reconciliate. According to the report, Carmona raised $1,300 and spent $1,082 which should leave a campaign balance of $218. Yet his campaign finance report reports a campaign balance of $1,300. According to the report, the $1,082 expenditure made by Carmona was to Leo Marketing for advertising expenses. The seat is currently held by Yahara Lisa Gutierrez. Although Gutierrez has not publicly announced she is running to keep her seat, her latest campaign finance report suggests she will be in contention to keep her seat.

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Gutierrez’ campaign reported no contributions or expenditures. According to her campaign report, she maintains $2,851.15 in her campaign and has an outstanding loan of $57,175.50. It should be noted that under the section labeled “Office Sought (if known)” on the latest campaign report, Gutierrez added “Family District Court Judge District 65,” suggesting she intends to run to keep her seat.

Jeremiah Haggerty who is seeking the Constable Precinct 2 seat currently held by Danny T. Zamora reported raising $946 and spending $3,127.79. Haggerty also reported having $3,919.26 in campaign funds. Zamora, who has not announced his intention to seek re-election, reported receiving $2,575 in campaign contributions and spending $290. Zamora also reported having $2,285 in campaign funds left.

Rafael Chavez, who is seeking the Constable 6 seat reported $20 in Campaign funds in his latest report. Rito Rubio, who is seeking the Constable 5 seat reported a loan to his campaign of $3,000 and expenditures of $1,033.25.

Veronica Carbajal

Veronica Carbajal is rumored to be in the running for the upcoming mayoral race. Oscar Leeser has termed out. Although Carbajal has not made an official announcement, as of today, her campaign website for her last mayoral race remains accessible. According to online records, Carbajal did not file a campaign finance report with the city suggesting that she has not raised or spent political funds on a possible run for the mayoral office in 2024. It is unclear who is making payments towards her mayoral campaign website, or whether the website was paid in advance through her previous campaign for mayor.

Carbajal is also part of her Justicia Fronteriza PAC. The PAC endorses candidates for office. According to the PAC’s latest campaign finance reports, it received $1,935 in political contributions and spent $1,506.14. The PAC has $11,513.84 in political funds available to it according to its latest report. The PAC’s largest contributor in this cycle is Carmen Rodriguez. Rodriguez contributed $600 in six monthly contributions of $100 each.

The Texas House District 16

In the Texas House District 16 seat, the latest Federal Election Commission, Democrat Veronica Escobar has $400,031.39 in campaign funds available to her. Her Republican opponent, Deliris Montanez Berrios has $1,988.60.

The Women’s Voice for Political Reform

The Women’s Voice for Political Reform PAC recently started a recall petition drive to remove Joe Molinar from office. The PAC did not file a campaign finance report for the July 15 reporting period. Should the PAC’s petition drive be successful, Molinar will have to decide whether to fight to keep his seat. According to Molinar’s latest campaign finance report, he has $15,435.16 left in his campaign account.

Election News Disclosure:

It is the policy of El Paso News to disclose the names of the political candidates the author’s branding and technology company provides services to during an election cycle. The following candidates: Iliana Holguin and Bobby Flores have contracted services from the author’s company. The Women’s Voice for Political Reform Political Action Committee has also contracted for technology services. The technology services are provided separately from the publication and have no influence on our reporting.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...