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Goldman raises $1M in bid to succeed Granger, but US House race dynamics still forming

 State Rep. Craig Goldman, top left, was the top fundraiser in the Republican primary for Texas’ 12th Congressional District during the last three months of 2023. He was followed by investor John O’Shea, top right; electrical engineer Shellie Gardener, bottom left; and Army veteran Clint Dorris.
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Fort Worth Report
State Rep. Craig Goldman, top left, was the top fundraiser in the Republican primary for Texas’ 12th Congressional District during the last three months of 2023. He was followed by investor John O’Shea, top right; electrical engineer Shellie Gardener, bottom left; and Army veteran Clint Dorris.

State Rep. Craig Goldman raised more than $1.1 million before the end of 2023 in his bid to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Kay Granger.

Goldman is one of five Republicans vying for their party’s nomination for Texas’ 12th Congressional District. He outraised the four Republicans who submitted campaign finance reports covering the last three months of 2023 to the Federal Election Commission.

“I’m humbled by the strong financial support from hundreds of supporters in Tarrant and Parker counties who recognize my proven conservative record,” Goldman said in a statement to the Fort Worth Report. “Whether it’s demanding border security, fighting for taxpayers, or defending our values, they know I will provide that same conservative leadership in Washington, D.C.”

Investor John O’Shea had the second-biggest contributions, with $237,718.

Goldman raised nearly $5 for every $1 O’Shea collected.

Electrical engineer Shellie Gardner brought in $155,537. However, Gardner has more cash on hand than O’Shea. She has $141,278 with O’Shea’s $45,863.

Army veteran Clint Dorris’ coffers aren’t too far behind O’Shea’s. Dorris has $41,426 in cash on hand, and he raised $60,975.

Goldman, though, amassed the biggest war chest. He has more than $1 million in his savings account.

Money is important, but Thomas Marshall, a retired political science professor, pointed out that the primary election likely will see low turnout. The winner will be the candidate who can best drive out the most passionate supporters, he said.

“The political science literature suggests more money is always helpful, but it’s of decreasing utility,” Marshall said.

With five candidates on the ballot, a runoff election between the two top vote-getters is a possibility, Marshall said.

The race really hasn’t taken shape yet either, the political scientist said. Granger announced her plans to leave Congress on Nov. 1 — just over 90 days ago. Early voting begins Feb. 20. Election Day is March 5.

“We haven’t seen the dynamics of this year, especially if somebody’s going to dump in a quarter, half a million dollars,” Marshall said, adding a last-minute infusion of money could give a candidate an edge heading into early voting.

The Republican primary has a fifth candidate, retiree Anne Henley, but the Federal Election Commission did not have her campaign finance reports on Feb. 1.

Reports were due Jan. 31, according to the federal agency. Pre-primary reports are due Feb. 22.

The winner of the GOP March 5 primary will face either Trey Hunt or Sebastian Gehrig as the Democrats’ general election nominee.

Neither Hunt nor Gehrig raised as much as their Republican counterparts. Hunt brought in $4,849 and has $1,924 in cash on hand. The Federal Election Commission did not have Gehrig’s campaign finance reports available.

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise journalist for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at jacob.sanchez@fortworthreport.org or via @_jacob_sanchez. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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Jacob Sanchez | Fort Worth Report