Republican Trish DeBerry has roughly $210,000 in cash on hand and Democrat Peter Sakai has $146,000 headed into this November’s Bexar County Judge race, according to campaign finance reports.

Semi-annual campaign finance reports were due July 15, indicating how the candidates have raised and spent money since their respective primary races.

DeBerry represented the 3rd Precinct on Commissioners Court before filing to run for county judge minutes before the deadline. She defeated a single, little-known opponent to win the Republican primary outright in March, so her most recent report covers her fundraising activity from eight days ahead of that race.

DeBerry says she raised roughly $220,000 between February 20 and June 30, and spent $122,000. (She originally filed a report covering the wrong dates, but shared a copy of an amended report she planned to file with the county on Tuesday.)

In that same time span, Sakai’s campaign says he raised roughly $233,000, though he was also spending his cash reserves on a May 24 primary runoff with Ina Minjarez, which he won 58%-42%.

DeBerry said the neck-and-neck fundraising indicates momentum for her uphill battle in heavily Democratic territory.

“I think this shows Republicans are doing well, much better than people thought in Bexar County,” DeBerry said of her haul.

Sakai, who oversaw the county’s family court before launching his campaign for judge, was locked in the Democratic runoff until May 25. His most recent report covers a shorter span than DeBerry’s because much of his fundraising after the primary was covered in a report filed eight days before the runoff.

From May 17 through June 30, Sakai reported raising $78,000 and spending $153,000. He had $223,000 on hand before May 17.

“I’m proud to be receiving support and donations from across Bexar County and across party lines,” Sakai said in a statement Monday.

After resigning from the 225th District Court, former children's court judge Peter Sakai announces his plan to run for Bexar County judge.
Peter Sakai, Bexar County Judge candidate, currently has less money on hand than his opponent Trish DeBerry, following the Democratic Party runoff with Rep. Ina Minjarez. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Sakai’s most recent report indicates that in the final days before the runoff, he spent roughly $100,000 on printing, mailing and campaign work by various consultants — spending that wouldn’t have been public before the race against Minjarez.

DeBerry’s report indicates she paid former Councilman Greg Brockhouse $9,500 for political consulting. She paid Brockhouse’s firm Everest Marketing $17,600 for advertising, and Austin-based Republican consulting firm Murphy Nasica $14,500 for consulting.

DeBerry’s biggest donations in the most recent reporting period include $30,000 from Darren Casey, CEO and Founder of Casey Development, Ltd., and $25,000 from New York real estate developer Zev Schick, whose firm Sun Equity Partners does business in San Antonio.

Sakai’s biggest donors in this reporting period include Susan Moulton and Richard Wells, who each gave Sakai $20,000. Moulton is a philanthropist who funded the Witte Museum’s Dinosaur Hall in honor of her son who died.

Wells, president of Dailey-Wells Communications, has been a major donor to San Antonio and Bexar County officials. His communications company has held major contracts with Bexar County, and was embroiled in a federal corruption case involving a county contract in West Texas in 2020.

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Andrea Drusch

Andrea Drusch writes about local government for the San Antonio Report. She's covered politics in Washington, D.C., and Texas for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, National Journal and Politico.