Starr DA outspends rival in latest finance reporting period

Carlos Escobar and Gocha Ramirez

Throughout the month of January, the campaign of 229th District Attorney Omar Escobar outspent that of his opponent, Gocha Ramirez, in the lead up to the March Democratic Primary for which early voting has already begun.

The campaign finance reports due on Feb. 3, the 30th day before the election, is the first reporting period in which Escobar outspent Ramirez.

The report filed for his campaign lists contributions and expenditures from Jan. 1 through Feb. 3.

Escobar reported $750 in total contributions and $5,985 in total political expenditures. However, he maintained $8,258 in contributions as of the last of the reporting period.

He listed monetary contributions from two sources — the McAllen-based Ruiz Law Firm which gave $250, and Mission Mayor Armando O’Caña who contributed $500 to Escobar’s campaign.

His expenses included $2,500 for advertising and $3,485.89 for shirts, signs and other printing costs.

Ramirez’s campaign filed a report that covered contributions and expenses from Jan. 1 through Jan. 23.

He reported receiving $4,000 in total contributions and reported about $1,762 in total expenditures. The report listed he maintained $7,186 as of the last day of the reporting period and $50,000 in loans.

The monetary contributions came from Lilia Escobar, a physician assistant who donated $2,500, Richard Morales Jr., an attorney from Laredo who contributed $500, and Joe Zayas, a dentist from Rancho Viejo who donated $1,000.

As for expenses, Ramirez reported spending $1,762 on advertising.

While Escobar outspent Ramirez during this period, Ramirez has spent more overall, reporting approximately $89,000 in expenditures to Escobar’s nearly $26,000.

Escobar is seeking a third term to the 229th Judicial District Attorney’s Office which prosecutes cases for Starr, Duval and Jim Hogg Counties.

There is no candidate running in the Republican Primary meaning that whoever wins the Democratic Primary will likely run unopposed in the November general election.

Early voting began on Tuesday and will continue through Friday, Feb. 28.