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Donors spend quarter-million on Victoria political candidates

By Melissa Crowe
July 30, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.
Updated July 31, 2014 at 2:31 a.m.


GET ACTIVE

• Democratic Party: victoriademocraticparty.org; crisg@victoriademocratic- party.org; 361-576-2911

• Republican Party: facebook.com/VictoriaGOP; info@victoriagop.com

• Libertarian Party: lptexas.org

• Tea Party: victoriateaparty.com

by the numbers

Total contributions:

$250,767

Total expenditures:

$236,725

BIGGEST FUNDRAISERS:

  1. Don Pozzi ($101,180)
  2. Travis Ernst ($40,794)
  3. Ben Zeller ($28,240)

BIGGEST SPENDERS:

  1. Don Pozzi ($73,978.96)
  2. Travis Ernst ($40,665.14)
  3. Ben Zeller ($36,367.78)

Campaign donors have already spent more than a quarter-million dollars on Victoria candidates this election cycle.

With the November general election still about 14 weeks away, donations from area politicos could continue racking up.

Republican Party Chairman Michael Cloud said the totals - including $250,767 in donations so far - are encouraging.

"It's a good sign that people are interested, care about their community and they want to be a part of making a difference," Cloud said. "We're happy to see our candidates are winning the trust of the people ... who are involved and connected in our community."

Democratic Party Chairman Cris Gonzalez said it's a sign that Victoria is competitive.

"I know that we're working hard, and the Republicans are working hard," Gonzalez said. "We're going to make Texas and Victoria County a very competitive race."

The Republican Party is leading the pack with top fundraisers and top spenders, with the biggest being incumbent County Judge Don Pozzi, whose term ends Dec. 31.

Pozzi raised $101,180 and spent $73,979 on his campaign. He was elected as a Democrat but changed to the Republican Party in March 2013.

Democratic candidate Ron Reyna and Republican candidate Ben Zeller will be on the ballot in November for Victoria county judge.

The county judge's race is garnering the most attention from donors, who have contributed $131,920 so far.

Cloud said there's "a sharp contrast" in fundraising for the county judge race.

"People are making their preference clear about what direction they want to help," he said.

Gonzalez said the party is working collectively for the races, will continue ramping up efforts for November and won't stop until the final vote is tallied.

"Victoria is not red," he said. "A lot of the elected officials that are in there were elected as Democrats."

The campaign process serves as a test for voters to see how the candidates raise, manage and use funds. It also shows leadership style, Cloud said.

However voters cast their ballots, the fundraising so far shows that Victoria County is motivated and active.

Anyone wanting to get involved can contact the parties via their websites or Facebook groups.

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