ELECTION 2018

Dr. Brad Buckley, who once ran a campaign for Texas House District 54 that leaned heavily on individual contributions, is now swimming in campaign funds from big-money political action committees just before Tuesday’s election.

In the most recent campaign fundraising reports due to the Texas Ethics Commission on Monday, Buckley, R-Salado, reported nearly $79,000 raised between Sept. 28 and Oct. 27 — almost all of which came from statewide PACs. In two daily reports following Monday’s filing, Buckley reported an additional $5,000 in fundraising.

By contrast, Buckley’s lightly funded opponent, Kathy Richerson, D-Bell County, reported around $15,000 in contributions — almost all of which was an in-kind contribution for digital advertising — and recorded zero expenditures in the last month.

Buckley, who has gained steam after defeating incumbent Rep. Scott Cosper, R-Killeen, in the May 22 runoff for the GOP nomination, was once on the opposite side of the fundraising race as Cosper gathered hundreds of thousands of dollars in PAC support while Buckley relied heavily on individual contributions.

During a filing period between Jan. 26 and Feb. 24, Buckley reported $13,627.60 in contributions to Cosper’s $136,619.75. Buckley’s sole PAC contribution was $150 from the Texas Water Infrastructure PAC.

“Whenever you see large amounts of PAC money, that means they are concerned,” Buckley said at the time. “They know that there’s a race on.”

But now, following his runoff win, Buckley is enjoying the fruits of PAC support, including a single payment of $30,000 in the most recent filing period from the Texas Farm Bureau Ag Fund.

Buckley, a Killeen veterinarian and former Killeen Independent School District board member, has run a campaign focusing improving Texas public education and boosting the economy in Bell County. Buckley is a co-chair for the 14 Forward private investment initiative, a Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce push to drive economic growth on the Interstate 14 corridor.

Richerson, a rural goat farmer and former Realtor, has run a quiet, lightly funded campaign that has focused on courting Democrats in heavy-red Lampasas County.

Election Day is Tuesday.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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