Environmental Defense Fund joins brawl for Texas House

by | Oct 20, 2020 | 2020 Elections, Politics

EDF Action, the campaign arm of the Environmental Defense Fund, announced this week it would be spending nearly $400,000 on Texas Statehouse races.

The cash will be used for mailers and a digital campaign to support Democrats running in swing districts.

The candidates being backed are Lorenzo Sanchez (HD-67), Jeff Whitfield (HD-92), Celina Montoya (HD-121), Ann Johnson (HD-134), Akilah Bacy (HD-138), as well as incumbent Rep. Erin Zwiener (HD-45).

The EDF investment comes as the national Democrat super PAC Forward Majority doubles its investment into Texas Statehouse races, from $6.2 million to $12 million. On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott also moved to help down-ballot Republicans with his campaign to finance a “mid-seven-figure” effort, according to the Texas Tribune

Democrats need nine seats to capture a majority in the statehouse. Reform Austin News estimates Democrats are poised to gain eleven statehouse seats if current polling continues into Election Day.

Further up the ballot, EDF Action has also begun pouring money into the race for Texas’ 7th congressional district this month. In September, the environmental group announced Democrat Rep. Lizzie Fletcher would be part of their $1 million mail program. Fletcher flipped the Houston congressional seat in 2018, one of two seats to flip that year. 

“Texas is a critical battleground this year and we have a chance to make a real difference in races up and down the ticket — electing pro-conservation state legislative candidates as well as re-electing Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher,” EDF Action President Joe Bonfiglio told the Signal. “Houston families need Fletcher’s voice in Washington as she fights every day to make real and lasting progress for her community.” 

Federal Election Filings show EDF Action has spent $267,212 on mailers opposing Wesley Hunt, Fletcher’s opponent. The investments into mailers have arrived weekly at about $50,000 apiece, with the latest purchase on Monday and set to continue until Election Day. 

Prasit Photo: Getty Images

fernando@texassignal.com | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at fernando@texassignal.com

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