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Huber has cash lead on Daugherty in Precinct 3 Commissioner race

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 by Michael Kanin

In what promises to be one of the more closely watched Travis County electoral races, incumbent Pct. 3 Commissioner Karen Huber has reported having $40,000 more on hand than her presumed Republican challenger Gerald Daugherty. All told, Huber posted a total of $101,000 in campaign funds with Daugherty clocking in at $60,680.81. 


That news came as candidates in assorted Travis County races turned in their campaign finance reports Monday, 30 days before Texas’ May 29 primary as required by law. In the period covered by the filing – which runs from January 1, 2012 through April 19, 2012 – Huber raised $58,380. Daugherty collected $47,135. Huber lent herself no money, while Daugherty’s filing lists a $10,000 loan.


Among other familiar ballot entrants, Travis Pct. 1 Commissioner Ron Davis held more than $43,000 (after raising $27,390) and incumbent District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who raised nearly $170,000, reported just under $125,000 on hand. Reports for Lehmberg’s opponent, former District Judge Charlie Baird were not available online as of Monday evening.


Davis has drawn three primary opponents including Del Valle School Board Member Richard Franklin, Pflugerville Mayor Pro Tem Victor Gonzales, and former peace officer Arthur Sampson. Sampson has raised $515. Reports for Franklin and Gonzales were not immediately available.


Precinct 5 Constable Bruce Elfant, who is running in the Democratic primary for Tax Assessor-Collector, told In Fact Daily his report shows that he raised more than $42,000 during this time period and has about $46,500 on hand. Elfant said he loaned his campaign $110. Stanley Wilson, Elfant’s opponent in the race, reports raising $13,000 and has about $5,500 on hand. Tech entrepreneur Vik Vad will challenge the Democrat nominated for Tax Assessor-Collector.


In the race for Travis County Sheriff, incumbent Greg Hamilton – who served as his own campaign treasurer – had more than $24,000 after raising $20,000. Hamilton’s challenger in the Democratic primary, John Sisson had roughly $26,000 on hand, including a $17,400 loan and just under $9,000 in contributions. Sisson’s treasurer is Janet West.


One-time Democrat Raymond Frank is running as a Republican to reclaim his former Sheriff’s badge. 


Provided that Huber and Daugherty each make it past their respective primaries – which seems fairly likely – they will headline the local undercard on the November general election ballot. Huber defeated Daugherty to win her first term on the Travis County Commissioners’ Court in 2008. Daugherty has claimed that Huber’s victory was thanks largely to the enthusiasm for eventual-President Barack Obama.


Daugherty’s entry into the Precinct 3 race came relatively late in the game, and after he already told another Republican challenger – former Eanes ISD school board member Jim Strickland – that he’d stay out of the race (See In Fact Daily, Oct. 12, 2011). Despite Daugherty’s entry, Strickland continues to run for the Republican place on the ballot in the Precinct 3 race. Strickland’s financial report was also not yet posted.


Ira Yates is also in on the Republican fight for Precinct 3. He’s raised just $200.


Huber is facing only one primary challenger, Southwest Austin Democrats President Albert Gonzales. Huber also beat Gonzales in 2008. Gonzales has raised only $100.


This past October, Daugherty told In Fact Daily that he decided to enter the race only after it became clear that Huber would seek another term. “I really, really don’t want Karen Huber representing Precinct 3 for another four years, and I’m really afraid that if I’m not in the race, Karen might win,” he said at the time. (See In Fact Daily, Nov. 30, 2011.)


Huber beat Daugherty by a slim 49-46 margin in 2008 after Daugherty had served six years on the court. She told supporters at a campaign rally in late November that the 2012 edition of the battle might be a costly rematch. “This race, I fear, will be an expensive one,” she said. (See In Fact Daily, Dec. 1, 2011.)

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