Attorney Gocha Ramirez, who is challenging 229th District Attorney Omar Escobar Jr. in the March 2020 Democratic Primary, reported spending 10 times more than his opponent in his campaign finance reports filed last week.
The two candidates for the 229th DA’s race filed their campaign finance reports, which covered the period from January through the end of June, with the Texas Ethics Commission.
Escobar, running for a third term as district attorney, reported receiving $1,000 in political contributions, which came from a single individual — Sam Vale, the president of the Starr-Camargo Bridge Company.
For expenditures, Escobar reported $4,294.60, which broke down into $2,844.13 in expenditures from political contributions and $1,450.47 in unpaid incurred obligations.
Those incurred expenses were largely for advertising, which totaled $2,429.48. An expenditure of $350 was a donation to the Roma Easter Day Community/Child Event and $64.65 went toward food and beverages for an event held in April recognizing administrative assistants.
The $1,450.47 in unpaid incurred obligations was also spent on advertising.
Despite only receiving the one contribution, Escobar reported he maintained $18,420.86 in contributions as of the last day of the reporting period.
As for Ramirez, he reported receiving $24,575 in contributions. Of that amount, $18,175 were monetary contributions, while $6,400 came from in-kind political contributions.
Approximately 26 sources, which included a combination of individuals and organizations, made monetary contributions.
He received $400 from Bema Ice, Inc., a company based in Roma, $450 from the Law Office of Margil Sanchez Jr., $150 and then $300 from the La Office of Pope & Pope, PLLC, $300 from the Law office of Rene Orlando Garza PLLC, and $150 from SignWorks LLC.
Donations from individuals included $2,500 from Carlos A. Garcia, an attorney based in Mission, $1,000 from Leticia Garcia from Edinburg, $1,000 and then $150 from Ana Lisa Garza, the former 229th district court judge, $3,000 from attorney Hilda Gonzalez-Garza and $5,000 from Robert Icenhauer-Ramirez, an attorney based in Austin.
Additionally, Ramirez contributed $300 and loaned $20,100 to his own campaign.
He reported that he maintained $9,217 of political contributions as of the last day of the reporting, which does not include the money loaned.
His expenses, according to the report, totaled $29,058 of which approximately $7,200 went towards advertising.
Ramirez made three payments to Eli Olivarez, owner of IDEO Art + Design in McAllen, for consulting. The first was a $1,000 payment dated March 8; the second was a $2,000 payment dated March 25; and the third was a $2,800 payment in May.
Other expenses included $2,698 in event expenses, $2,735 in wages for billboard construction, $8,514 in printing expenses and $1,225 in donations — $225 to a cooking team for Vaquero Days, an event hosted by the city of Escobares, and $1,000 to the Jim Hogg County Fair Association.
The 229th DA’s office is tasked with prosecuting cases in Starr, Duval and Jim Hogg counties.
Escobar was elected to the office in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016.
The Democratic primary is scheduled for March 3, 2020.