More than three days past due, a candidate for the Texas House District 60 seat has yet to file a required campaign finance report. As a banker presumably accustomed to meeting government reporting deadlines, one wonders what establishment candidate Kevin Downing is hiding.

Staff members at the Texas Ethics Commission confirmed for Texas Scorecard that as of 10:45am today (Jan. 19) they had not received Downing’s campaign finance report. The report, which was due by midnight on Jan. 15, covers all contributions, expenditures and loans between July 1 and December 31.

One has to assume Downing either received no contributions and made no expenditures, or is embarrassed by some aspect of the report. A review of his campaign Facebook account shows that Downing has purchased signs, and has a campaign website, expenses which would trigger reporting.

It is also possible that Downing has simply decided the rules that apply to every other candidate do not apply to him.

Downing is a close ally of disgraced State Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland), the unpopular HD 60 incumbent who is retiring from office rather than defend a record of cronyism and abuse of office. (Keffer is now throwing what’s left of his weight behind perennial candidate Gary Gates’ latest bid for public office, the Texas Railroad Commission.)

Failure to submit his campaign finance report is punishable by a fine of $500.

Downing is running against Mike Lang, a popular constable from Granbury whose grassroots-focused campaign forced Keffer into retirement. Lang’s wife is the Hood County Clerk who made national headlines for resisting the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision.

UPDATE (Jan. 20, 2016): Downing’s campaign finance report finally went live, with no explanation for the delay. It certainly wasn’t because of the numbers involved. He reported raising a paltry $39,964, while spending $58,774.25.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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