Dyer -- FWST:

Republican incumbent Rick Perry has 100 times more money on hand for the governor's race than his richest Democratic opponent, new campaign finances reports show.

With the Republican and Democrat primaries just two weeks away, Perry has $9.4 million in cash, while Democrat Chris Bell has $90,868.90 and Democrat Bob Gammage $23,648, according to campaign finance reports due Monday. The most recent disclosures list cash on hand, as well as contributions and expenditures between Jan. 27 and Saturday.

Two other major candidates in the gubernatorial race, independents Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Strayhorn, did not have to report contributions because they are not running in the March 7 primaries.

Perry's report shows that his campaign raised $923,369 in the past 30 days and spent $407,579. By contrast, Bell raised $259,569 and spent $305,672, and Gammage raised $58,209 and spent $70,996.

The AP looks at the story from the angle of Bell getting money from trial lawyers:
Generous giving by trial lawyers helped boost gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell's fundraising during the past month as he approaches the Democratic primary election.

Bell, a former U.S. Rep. from Houston, raised $260,000 from Jan. 27 through Saturday, according to a Monday campaign filing with the Texas Ethics Commission. That's more than half the total of $509,000 he raised in 2005.


Of the amount Bell raised last month, nearly $110,000 came from lawyers. Major donors included Corpus Christi lawyer Mikal C. Watts, whose political action committee gave $25,000, and Houston lawyer Tom Pirtle, who also donated $25,000.

Trial lawyer money isn't an unmitigated good, of course. But one of the most interesting stories is that the trial lawyers who contribute big money to Democrats in the state...haven't given money. For the Democratic nominee to have a chance, they'll need to have enough resources to get their money out. Watching whether trial lawyers start to give more money to the Democratic nominee will be an interesting story for March and April.

Posted by Evan @ 02/28/06 02:38 PM


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I cannot see a Dem winning in '06, no matter what the warchest. Neither of these guys has that Ma Richardson appeal. And many of the dis-enfranchised voters of Texas have given up on the Dems as too ineffective. Money won't fix that.

However, a well-funded Dem running negative adds might tarnish Perry enough to give the 1 and a half independents out there a fighting chance. (Strayhorn only counts as half- she's a Republican who wants to keep the fight alive longer than March. She isn't a true independent.)

Should make for a fasinating race. I can't wait to watch it roll.

Posted by John @ 03/02/06 11:33 AM

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