Comal County Tax Assessor-Collector hopeful Kristen Hoyt reported the most contributions among the local candidates in competitive March 3 primary races for Comal County offices, according to campaign finance reports filed with the county’s elections office.
Campaign finance reports required by the Texas Ethics Commission, covering donations and expenses received between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2019, were due Jan. 15. The state’s campaign finance law, outlined in Title 15 of the Texas Election Code, requires periodic reports up to and shortly after primary and runoff
Cynthia Jaqua, county elections administrator, said reports also list names and addresses of campaign treasurers, or supplemental reports indicating intent to limit campaign donations to $500 or less. Financial reports are also required on the 30th and eighth days before the primary, with final reports due following the primary or May runoff.
The Herald-Zeitung’s check of filings found only two — Democratic county commissioner’s candidates Lindsay Poisel (Precinct 1) and Collette Nies (Precinct 3) — missed the deadline to file reports with the county clerk’s office. Democratic Chair Gloria Meehan on Friday said both candidates, new to the elections process and unopposed in the primary, would file as soon as possible.
Hoyt was the top fundraiser among candidates seeking Republican primary nods for county positions. Co-owner of a business with husband and New Braunfels District 4 City Council Member Matthew Hoyt, she is making her second run at elective office. In 2014, after winning the GOP primary and general election races for district clerk, she was disqualified by her party over length-of-residency requirements.
In the race to succeed outgoing Cathy Talcott, Hoyt raised $17,915 between Oct. 9 and Dec. 31. She reported $15,600 in total cash contributions — including two for $2,500, two for $1,000 and eight for $500 — received from 40 donors.
Hoyt reported $1,415 in non-monetary “in-kind” contributions for campaign materials and services, with $8,634 in expenses and $7,865 in cash on hand.
Hoyt’s opponent, New Braunfels City Secretary Patrick Aten, reported $9,915 in cash and in-kind contributions, and $6,794 in expenditures between Oct. 8 and Dec. 31. He had $3,120 in cash on hand that included a $750 personal loan.
Incumbent Donna Eccleston listed $1,400 in contributions, $2,853 in expenditures and $3,374 in cash on hand for the July-December reporting period. Her January-July 2019 report listed $1,973 in contributions and $75 in expenditures.
Challenger Richard Smith reported $1,540 in contributions, $7,457 in expenditures, $583 in cash on hand and loans totaling $6,500.
In the race to succeed outgoing Ben Scroggin, Charles Motz V reported $7,525 in total contributions between July 1 and Dec. 31. He reported $11,863 in expenditures — $3,947 through in-kind donations, $6,415 through credit cards and $1,385 from personal funds — with $497 in cash on hand. His opponent, Christopher Braun, reported only $375 in expenditures from personal funds.
Incumbent Craig Ackerman, between Sept. 9 and Dec. 31, reported $8,951 in total contributions and $4,049 in expenditures. His opponent, Scott Head, reported $4,045 in contributions, $1,306 in expenditures, and $791 in cash on hand.
Incumbent Shane Rapp only reported receiving $750 in total contributions between Aug. 21 and Dec. 31, with $5,715 spent from personal funds. Opponent Jerry Airola, reporting between July 18, and Dec. 31, totaled $19,500 in self-funded contributions and $19,327 in expenditures.
Attorney Deborah Wigington filed for the GOP nod for Comal’s third county court-at law that will begin operations in 2021. She reported $3,720 in contributions, $5,771 in expenditures, and personal loans to her campaign totaling $5,500.
Comal County Sheriff Mark Reynolds reported $200 in contributions; $2,544 in expenditures and outstanding loans totaling $6,194.
Jaqua said the county on Dec. 30 received the Texas Secretary of State’s approval to use universal polling sites on a permanent basis. The last day to register to cast ballots in the March 3 primary is Monday, Feb. 3. Donna Dandridge, voter registrar, said Friday there were 105,498 registered county voters.
“Our office will have extended hours until 7 p.m. on Feb. 3 for anyone who wants to come in to register,” Jaqua said.