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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Another Surprising Development

Josh Berthume's picture

Chris Turner didn't just raise a ton of money for his state representative race in HD 96 against incumbent Republican Bill Zedler. He also outraised incumbent Republican Bill Zedler, $240,166 to $206,781. He's also winning in cash on hand, $173,334 to $157,555. The full press release is available after the jump.

HD 96 Shocker: Turner Outraises Zedler
Endangered incumbent trails in money raised, cash on hand and
Tarrant County support as challenger gains momentum

ARLINGTON - Campaign finance reports filed yesterday with the Texas Ethics Commission showed that House District 96 challenger Chris Turner outraised three-term incumbent Rep. Bill Zedler in the first six months of the year. Turner raised $240,166 from January 1st - June 30th, while Zedler raised $206,781 in the same period.

Turner also led Zedler in available funds, reporting $173,334 cash on hand while Zedler reported $157,555. Perhaps the most ominous sign for the Zedler campaign was the incumbent's anemic support level in Tarrant County: in the first six months of the year, Zedler raised $11,820 in itemized contributions from 46 contributors while Turner far outpaced him with $42,876 from 94 contributors.

"While we were thrilled with our fundraising success so far, we fully expected the incumbent to have much more money in the bank at this point," said Turner. "To have raised and banked more than Rep. Zedler is the strongest indication yet of how well our message of change is resonating and how much trouble his campaign is in."

Turner's fundraising was fueled by the support of over 400 donors. "I am truly humbled and honored to have the support of hundreds of Texans who agree with our goal of bringing more partnership and less partisanship to Austin," Turner said. "This campaign will be won with the support of teachers, small business owners, retirees and working families, and I am proud to have so many actively supporting our campaign."

Zedler's weak fundraising in Tarrant County is an indication of a shallow support base, forcing him to rely on the deep pockets of a few donors around the state. For example, the controversial Dr. James Leininger, a staunch proponent of private school vouchers, has already given Zedler $20,000 this year - nearly 10% of his fundraising total.

"I have no doubt that Rep. Zedler's special interest allies such as Dr. Leininger will attempt to prop up his campaign over the next four months, but I am confident that our message of change and less partisanship will carry us to victory in November," said Turner.

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