Dade Phelan raised $4.4 million as he ascended to Texas House speakership

Published 12:16 am Saturday, January 16, 2021

The new Texas House speaker, Dade Phelan, raised $4.4 million as he ascended to the job late last year, according to his team.

The Beaumont Republican entered 2021 with $4.8 million cash on hand.

Phelan’s team said the numbers represent a “record for money raised and maintained by an incoming” speaker.

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Phelan raked in the $4.4 million over a roughly month-and-a-half period — between Oct. 25 and Dec. 12, the last day lawmakers can accept contributions due to a fundraising moratorium around the legislative session that started Tuesday. Phelan announced Nov. 4 he had the votes to become speaker, and he officially secured the job Tuesday with a nearly unanimous vote on the House floor.

Phelan’s predecessor behind the gavel, Dennis Bonnen, raised almost $4 million as the presumptive speaker over an roughly monthlong period in late 2018.

Bonnen, an Angleton Republican, started 2019 with $4.6 million in the bank.

The details of when Phelan raised the money or who donated to him are not yet available. He and other lawmakers face an end-of-day deadline Friday to report their latest campaign finances to the Texas Ethics Commission.