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Even MORE resources for the 2018 political season

Last week’s TAB Bulletin touted a list of TAB resources that member stations can utilize to make life easier during the 2018 Texas political season.  With the opening this past weekend of the FCC’s political window for the March 6 primary, broadcasters should avail themselves of these helpful TAB tools, view here.  But there are other resources out there that sales staff and newsrooms can use that are helpful.

Show Me the Money
Texas candidates were required to file campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission by Jan. 16.  These reports detail money raised and expenses paid for the period July 1, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2017.  What’s leftover is referred to “cash-on-hand”.  It’s easy to find the information online at the Texas Ethics Commission’s website, view here.

Raw data of the reports themselves is available on the summary page as a CSV or PDF file for download.  Newsrooms can see how successful a particular candidate’s fundraising has been in the past six months and what funds that candidate will have to do battle in the primary.  Station sales staff can review area candidates to see how much money might be available for political ad buys.  One can search by the candidate’s name, their campaign committee’s name or even by political action committee name.

For example, even though Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is not running again, he has $10,015,611.21 cash on hand in the Texans for Joe Straus coffers which can be used to aid other candidates if he chooses.  Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, reported an impressive $18,063,091.26 cash on hand in the latest report.  He raised nearly $2.6 million in the past six months and spent $1.46 million on campaign expenses.  Gov. Greg Abbott reported a whopping $43,332,465.29 cash on hand in the latest report.  The campaign raised more than $9 million during the last half of 2017 and spent about $7 million in campaign expenses.

Who is Running?
The March primary election is essentially a party election utilizing county resources such as voting machines, booths, polling locations and tabulation staff.  It can be difficult, at the local level, to find out who the candidates are in your area.  Thankfully, there are easy to use online resources to find out who is running for a particular office or who is running in a particular coverage area.  The Secretary of State’s Office maintains an online database of candidates for federal, state and county office than can be searched by county and by party, view here.

It is the easiest way to ascertain which candidates are running for which office in your market.  Just search by county and party and you’ll be set for the March 6 primary election.  The Texas Tribune maintains a complete list of candidates for federal and state offices online, view here.

It’s organized by office sought, not by county, but it is a quick reference to see who is running for statewide office.

Remaining important dates related to the March 6 primary
The FCC political window for the March 6 primary opened this past Saturday, Jan. 20.
The next few important political dates related to the primary election are:

  • Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 Last day to register to vote for March primary
  • Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 Early voting begins for March 6 primary election
  • Friday, March 2, 2018 Last day of early voting for March 6 primary election
  • Tuesday, March 6, 2018 primary election

Questions?  Contact TAB's Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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