10/31/19

Last Minute Money in the Midland Mayoral Race

For those staying abreast of the money that backs political power, the upcoming mayoral race in Midland, Texas is one to watch. Although Midland is not among the largest cities in Texas, it has an outsized impact on the Texas and U.S. economies as the energy industry’s epicenter for oil exploration and production. Three candidates are facing off in hopes of becoming the next mayor of Midland. 

All candidates are required to file reports detailing their donations and expenditures. Here’s a look at the money coming and going as of the most recent reports, filed on Monday, October 28.

Campaign Cash*:

Raised:Spent:Cash-On-Hand:
Jenny Cudd $9,707 $8,368 $5,441
Jerry Morales$80,032$24,794 $60,514
Patrick Payton$206,630$93,593 $86,795

Incumbent Mayor Jerry Morales (pictured above), a local businessman, is running for re-election in an expensive contest featuring challengers Patrick Payton and Jenny Cudd.

Morales’ top donation from the most recent (8-days-out) campaign finance report was a $1,500 contribution from Steve and Melissa Sanchez. This most recent report also included a few $1,000 contributions and some smaller donations. Morales spent $16,750 on advertising with the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Notably, Patrick Payton, a former megachurch pastor, has out-raised Morales by a large margin throughout the race. Anchoring Payton’s big cash haul in the last few weeks is a $7,500 donation from Steve Holfield, a $2,800 donation from Courtney Luoma, and a $2,500 donation from Robert Barnes. He also reported many donations under $1,500. On the expenditures side, Payton’s campaign used  $44,863 for Admarc’s advertising services, and over $9,000 went to Norfleet Strategies for consulting services.

Jenny Cudd, a local business woman, reported a few $500 contributions and some in-kind donations, along with a few advertising expenditures in her most recent filing.

Although Payton has a significant lead in the race to raise campaign cash, it is always an uphill battle to defeat an incumbent. The vote count on Tuesday will reveal whether Payton can convert his sizable cash advantage to a win.

*According to reports in the Midland Reporter Telegram.

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