Republican Congressional candidate Roger Williams shook up Texas politics a bit this week by unveiling a stunning fundraising lead in the new Congressional District 33 in north Texas. Texas’ 33rd District is one of the state’s four newly created Congressional districts.
The FEC report shows Roger Williams has more than $1,017,535 cash on hand. In contrast, his opponent, Michael Williams, reported just $265,488. But Michael Williams’ real numbers are significantly lower than that, when you consider the $75,000 his campaign owes to vendors. This leaves him with just about $200,000 to spend on the race, effectively putting Roger Williams at a 5 to 1 money advantage in a very expensive media market.
In an exclusive interview with PJ Tatler, Roger Williams praised his long roots in the district as the reason for his stunning fundraising success.
“When you’ve lived most of your life in north Texas, it’s not hard to raise money,” Roger told me. “People know me and have done business with me and my family for years. They know they can trust me. And they are putting their trust in me by supporting me with their dollars. In many ways, fundraising is the first primary. And we’re running away with it.”
Roger Williams also has a stronger base of endorsements. More than 350 local elected officials and business leaders have already endorsed Roger Williams. And all three Republican Party chairmen from the three counties in the district have all endorsed him as well.
Michael Williams’ weak fund raising numbers, something that plagued his Senate campaign, in addition to his lack of endorsements has Republican insiders in DC talking about what could happen next. Sources in Washington say that several members of the Texas Republican Congressional delegation have talked about the need for Michael Williams to move to the race for Congressional District 25, the lines for which were also redrawn this year, because it’s based near his Austin home. These sources say that the Texas delegation finds it hard to believe Michael will be able to raise the money necessary to compete in the most expensive media market in Texas, nor be able to garner enough support to win the ground game in CD 33. This has led to an effort to get Michael to switch to CD 25, which may be a more viable option for the popular former state Railroad Commissioner.
“Roger’s fundraising lead is beyond what anyone was expecting,” said one DC source. “A few days ago, Michael’s staff was bragging that they had raised $250,000. It turns out that number was only $125,000. That’s too big of a gap to realistically overcome. There is no way Michael can catch up. His best shot for Congress is to run in CD25 because he has no shot at CD33.”
Meanwhile, the Roger Williams campaign keeps rolling. It’s already operating out of an Arlington headquarters and has field staff working the district. “And the money keeps flowing in,” Roger added. “We’ll have another huge fundraising total next quarter.”