Dan Patrick leads Leticia Van de Putte in money race

By J. David McSwane

American-Statesman Staff

Lieutenant governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte has raised about $2.6 million since July as she tries to close a 14-point gap between her and Republican front-runner Dan Patrick, her campaign said Monday.

In total fundraising since last year, the Patrick campaign reports contributions of more than $12 million, more than double the $5 million raised by Van de Putte, a Democrat who ran unopposed while Patrick faced an expensive Republican primary and runoff election.

Van de Putte, a state senator from San Antonio, reports about $2.2 million in the bank, while Patrick, a state senator from Houston, reports $4.3 million.

Today is the deadline for the final campaign finance reports that will be made public before the Nov. 4 election. The reports filed with the state have yet to be posted for the reporting period of July 1 through Sept. 25.

During that period, according to the campaign’s statement, Van de Putte raised more than half of its total contributions, signaling an intensified campaign. Meanwhile, Patrick’s campaign has been quiet as the latest Texas Lyceum poll showed a 14 to 15 percentage point lead over his opponent.

“Dan Patrick is the overwhelming choice of Texans as they vote with their pocketbooks,” said Allen Blakemore, a Patrick campaign strategist. “These fundraising numbers are a reliable predictor of future performance at the ballot box.”

While Patrick has bristled at accusations that his campaign is coasting to a win — Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office in two decades — his cash-on-hand suggests limited spending.

His preceding financial disclosure, released in July, showed Patrick with less than $1 million in the bank and loans exceeding $2 million.