Businessman Chris Ekstrom reported the most cash to spend during the first campaign finance cycle in the Republican primary race to replace U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R–Clarendon) in Texas’ 13th Congressional District.

Ekstrom reported $530,816 in receipts, which included a $500,000 loan to his campaign during the campaign finance cycle ending December 31. The only other Republican primary candidate to report numbers close to Ekstrom’s during the cycle was Texas Cattle Feeders Association industry affairs director Josh Winegarner, who reported $344,565 in contributions.

Rounding out the top five in Federal Election Commission filings were Amarillo City Councilwoman Elaine Hays with $87,056 in receipts, Wichita County Commissioner Lee Harvey with $60,850, and former White House physician Ronny Jackson with $30,406. Railroad conductor Vance Snider narrowly trailed Jackson with $27,216 in receipts.

The reports are in line with what appears to be a recent uptick in campaign spending in the Panhandle, with new television ads, yard signs, and radio spots appearing across the district.

Voters will decide this Republican primary on March 3. Early voting begins on February 18.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.


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