RERresearch has discovered that candidate for Republican Party of Texas Chairman, Rick Figueroa, has an interesting history of political contributions.
Figueroa, a political no-name, was the first to declare as a candidate for the suddenly-vacated chairman’s position by former chairman Tom Mechler. Liberty movement influencers were not amused by the fact that Figueroa is Mechler’s choice to succeed him, and apparently the recipient of special grooming for the position over the last year from behind the scene’s – so says a source within the party.
Although Figueroa has been following Mechler around the state like a nine-week-old puppy, the record of his campaign donations introduce the first questions about his dedication to the ideals of the Texas GOP.
For those that have initially believed that Figueroa somehow jumped to the head of the line for this plum position because he’s some sort of major donor to the Republican Party, you’ll be disappointed. A modest financial political contributor would be an appropriate description.
Of Figueroa’s entire donation history, two stand out among the few. Two to Democrats.
In 2006, Democrats targeted Texas House District 133 as a pickup opportunity. This was an open seat which was vacated by Republican State Representative Joe Nixon. The general election saw Republican nominee Jim Murphy and Democratic nominee Kristi Thibaut face off in a bruising battle.
Thibaut’s campaign finance reports on file with the Texas Ethics Commission indicates she received a $200 contribution from Figueroa on June 5, 2006.
Thibaut was the expected Democratic Party candidate with support and money from Planned Parenthood and numerous union interests.
The Democrats’ attempts to turn District 133 blue in 2006 were unsuccessful. Murphy defeated Thibaut and held the seat for Republicans. Thibaut still managed to find work at the State Capitol during the 2007 legislative session- as a paided lobbyist for ACORN.
Thibaut’s paid work for ACORN was highlighted by the Republican Party of Texas during one of Thibaut’s subsequent campaigns for the Texas House.
(Note: Per state law, campaign finance records posted on the Texas Ethics Commission’s website do not include a contributor’s full street address, just the contributor’s city and ZIP code. The entry on the campaign finance report showing Figueroa’s contribution to the Thibaut campaign indicates a Sugar Land, Texas ZIP code where Figueroa and his wife resided at the time the contribution was made.)
In the open race for Mayor of Houston in 2009, many grassroots Republicans supported the candidacy of Roy Morales. While technically a non-partisan election, Morales was the only candidate with a Republican history, and was serving at the time as a Republican member of the Harris County Department of Education board.
Morales faced three major Democratic opponents- city councilman Peter Brown, city controller Annise Parker, and former city attorney Gene Locke. Many prominent Democratic elected officials in the Houston area, including State Senators John Whitmire, Mario Gallegos, and Rodney Ellis, were prominent supporters of Locke’s mayoral campaign.
Locke’s campaign finance records on file with the City of Houston indicate he received a $250 contribution from Figueroa on July 22, 2009.
The political contributions from Rick Figueroa that RERresearch located:
- 6/5/06 $200 to Kristi Thibaut (Democrat)
- 3/15/08 $500 to John McCain
- 8/23/08 $500 to John McCain
- 7/22/09 $250 to Gene Locke (Democrat)
- 4/10/13 $250 to John Cornyn
- 10/2/13 $350 to Spirit of Freedom Republican Women
- 10/9/13 $250 to Hispanic Republicans of Texas
- 11/18/13 $20 to Fort Bend Republican Women’s Club PAC
- 12/23/13 $300 to Fort Bend Republican Party
- 11/21/14 $250 to Lois Kolkhorst
- 5/9/16 $375 to Republican Women of Greater North Texas PAC
- 4/12/17 $500 to Republican Women of Greater North Texas PAC
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