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Although the race to replace retiring Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson has not yet attracted the large amounts of cash that have poured into contests for many other offices, campaign finance reports show there is a clear frontrunner when it comes to fundraising.

The clash between insurance salesman Jon Bouche, who currently serves on the MCRP Steering Committee, and Bryan Christ, who works in IT, has shaped up to be a classic battle between the tea party movement, which is supporting Bouche, and the GOP establishment that has largely backed Christ. While the establishment usually outraises the grassroots candidate, in this case, the insurgent has the lead.

In the period covered by the latest campaign finance reports, Bouche received $5,285 in contributions, while Christ took in $3,430. During that same time, Christ’s campaign spent $2,222, while Bouche spent $4,229.

Heading into the final stretch of the campaign, Bouche holds a significant funding advantage, maintaining $8,201 cash on hand compared to $1,610 for Christ.

Notably, several elected officials have contributed to the county chairman candidates.

Elected officials who donated to Christ are Precinct 4 County Commissioner James Metts ($500), current GOP Chairman Wally Wilkerson ($500), Precinct 1 Constable Philip Cash ($250), and Precinct 1 Commissioner candidate Robert Walker ($250).

Meanwhile, the list of elected officials who donated to Bouche include Sheriff Rand Henderson ($500), Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District President Harry Hardman ($100), LSGCD Treasurer Jim Spigener ($200), The Woodlands Township Director and former Congresswoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs ($1,000), and Montgomery County Hospital District Board Chair Georgette Whatley ($45).

Also notable is the fact that Christ’s campaign gave $800 to the Republican Voters of Texas PAC, an astroturf organization run by left-leaning Republicans attempting to hijack the “Republican” name in order to trick voters into thinking their candidates are endorsed by the Republican Party. The RVT PAC has endorsed Christ, raising the spectre of “pay to play.”

The RVT PAC has been formally condemned and disavowed by the Republican Party.