Art Fierro and Claudia Ordaz Perez make over $60,000 in State District 79 race

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — In six months, Art Fierro and Claudia Ordaz Perez raised just over $60,000 in political contributions while campaigning for the Texas State House District 79 headquarters.

Both Democrats reported their campaign finances on Jan. 15 for a period spanning July 1 and Dec. 31 of last year. Both are the Democratic candidates for the March 1 primary. Early voting begins February 14.

There is no Republican challenger for the political office and the winner of the Democratic primary will win the election outright.

Just recently, the Texas Eighth Court of Appeals ruled that Ordaz Perez could run for the seat after Fierro submitted a claim that she failed to move into the district in time to meet residency requirements.

Campaign finance reports show that Art Fierro received more political contributions between July and December than Ordaz Perez. Fierro raised nearly $36,000 in political contributions. And, Ordaz Perez raised just over $27,000.

Fierro loaned himself $12,000. The two spent over $91,000 on their campaigns during the six-month period. Ordaz Perez received an in-kind contribution of $3,500 from STRDM.

Reports show Fierro still has just over $16,000 in contributions and Ordaz Perez has over $31,000.

As for expenses, Fierro spent $66,878 during the reporting period. His largest expenses included nearly $18,000 for an apartment in Republic Square in Austin. He paid Campaign Services LLC $10,500 over five payments for consulting services.

He also made a payment of $5,000 to Blanco Ordonez Mata & Welchsler PC for consultation.

Fierro’s biggest donors were State Representative Joe Moody’s campaign, Randall Bowling, the Tigua Indian Reservation, and the Texas Trail Lawyers Association PAC. All contributed $2,500 to Fierro.

Notable donations also came from former state senator Eliot Shapleigh ($500), Dori Fenenbock ($500), El Paso Eastside Democrats ($200), Walmart Inc. PAC ($1,000 ), employees of Raytheon Technologies Corp. PAC ($750) and former NBA basketball coach Steve Van Gundy ($17.54).

Ordaz Perez incurred expenses of $24,604 during the reporting period. His biggest expense included nearly $9,000 to the El Paso Mail and Print Department for printing and mailing Christmas cards.

She also made a $1,500 contribution to the El Paso Community Foundation for an Angel David Garcia memorial. His largest expenses also included staff costs to attend the National Conference of State Legislators and hotel accommodations in Austin.

Ordaz Perez’s largest political contributions came from Richard Raymond ($3,000), another House representative from Webb County, which includes the city of Laredo. El Paso State Rep. Lina Ortega donated $1,000 to Ordaz Perez’s campaign.

She also received three $2,000 donations from Daniel Valencia, Texas State Farm Agents PAC and Bryan Mena.

Notable donations also came from other Texas representatives. Ordaz Perez received donations from Rep. Joseph Deshotel of Beaumont ($500), Rep. Gina Hinojosa of Austin ($1,000), Rep. Celia Israel of Austin ($550), and Rep. Trey Martinez of San Antonio ($1,000).

Race for District 79 Headquarters

In November, Ordaz Perez announced she would challenge Fierro for her seat after changing her voting address to an East Side residence.

Gov. Greg Abbott approved new political maps created during redistricting in the state. Redistricting is a reference to the process by which political districts are drawn based on population and is done every 10 years after the US Census Bureau conducts its population survey in the United States.

Ordaz Perez’s home, District 76, was removed from El Paso, placing his home in District 77, now represented by Lina Ortega.

Ordaz Perez said she won’t run against Ortega. And, said the two were punished by Texas House Republicans punishing them for breaking quorum during a special session held by the legislature.

Texas Democrats had traveled to Washington DC to seek federal protections against the passage of new voter suppression laws in the state.

In October, Ordaz Perez changed her Lower Valley voting address to one on the East Side, which signaled her intention to run in a district outside of where she lived.

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Christopher S. Washington