Perry pulls in slew of large donor checks
By KELLEY SHANNON AP Political Writer © 2009 The Associated Press
July 15, 2009, 6:59PM
AUSTIN, Texas — Republican Gov. Rick Perry relied on dozens of donors who gave $50,000 or more in his dash to raise cash in late June for his race against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Campaign finance reports released Wednesday showed Perry tapped some well-known supporters to pile up $4.2 million in the last nine days of the month. He had to wait until the spring legislative session and veto period ended to raise money.
"Governor Perry is very pleased with the financial support he has received, especially considering the limited amount of time he was able to raise funds," said his spokesman, Mark Miner.
Perry, who is running for a third term as Texas' chief executive, faces Hutchison in the Republican primary next March. The outcome of the clash between Perry and the more moderate Hutchison could signal the direction of the national Republican Party in the coming years. The winner of the race will likely be the favorite in Texas' general election.
Hutchison, a U.S. senator who enjoys statewide popularity, had already announced she raised $6.7 million the first half of 2009. The money came from more than 6,500 donors across Texas and most was in donations of $500 or less, her campaign said.
"We are so grateful to the thousands of Texans who have contributed to our campaign," Hutchison spokesman Hans Klingler said. "They believe Texas needs a leader who brings results, not politics." But, like Perry, Hutchison had some big contributors.
Wealthy businessmen Ray Hunt and Robert Rowling of Dallas each gave her $100,000 checks. Rowling is a former University of Texas System regent who abruptly resigned this year in a public spat with Perry over bonuses for the system's money managers. Hutchison has said Perry's feud with Rowling appeared to be politically motivated because Rowling supported Hutchison. Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane gave Hutchison two donations of $50,000 each — one in January and one on the final day of the fundraising period.
Perry got donations totaling $100,000 each from businessmen Harold Simmons and George Ryan of Dallas, Red McCombs of San Antonio
, and homebuilder Bob Perry of Houston. His biggest contributor was Mica Mosbacher, a Houston philanthropist Perry appointed last year to the University of Houston Board of Regents. Mosbacher gave Perry a total of $225,000 in three donations, the final $100,000 check coming on June 30, the last day of the reporting period. The 35 donors who gave Perry $50,000 included Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks, who lives in Dallas, and San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt. San Antonio Dr. James Leininger, a longtime Perry donor and advocate for private school vouchers, gave $25,000.
State candidates had to file campaign finance reports by Wednesday with the Texas Ethics Commission. The leading candidates had announced their fundraising totals over the past few days, but had not provided the details of who gave how much.
Hutchison said she had a total of $12.5 million in the bank heading into July. Unlike Perry, she was not barred from raising money during the first six months of the year because she was not a state office holder.
Perry said he had $9.3 million in available cash at the end of June.
Democratic candidate Tom Schieffer, a former ambassador in President George W. Bush's administration, reported raising $705,000 million, part of it coming from a $200,000 loan, according to his ethics commission report. He had about $454,000 in cash on hand.
Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson, a possible candidate for governor who hasn't said whether he'll run, raised about $156,000 in the six-month period, almost all of it coming after state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte said she wasn't running and threw her support behind Watson. Watson said he has $1.4 million in available cash. Perry pulls in slew of large donor checks | AP Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle