Former donors of Gov. Rick Perry backing Kay Bailey HutchisonBy Christy Hoppe and Emily Ramshaw
Dallas Morning News
July 16, 2009
AUSTIN – At least 26 past major donors to Gov. Rick Perry are now giving to rival Kay Bailey Hutchison, contributing more than $1 million to the senator in the last six months.
Among some of the largest defections from the Perry camp are businessmen and one-time supporters whom the governor appointed to prime positions on state boards and agencies.
Ned Holmes of Houston, a Perry appointee to the Texas Transportation Commission, gave $77,000 to Hutchison, campaign finance reports released Wednesday show.
Robert Rowling of Dallas, who gave $100,000 to Hutchison, was on the University of Texas Board of Regents, and Charles Tate of Houston, also a $100,000 giver to Hutchison, used to be on Perry's Council for Science and Biotechnology.
The candidates' reports also indicate that some Republican families are choosing different sides as Texas' two biggest political titans prepare to face off in the March GOP primary for governor.
Rob Mosbacher of Houston, an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor in 1990, gave $10,000 to Hutchison, but his stepmother, Mica Mosbacher, was Perry's largest donor, giving him $225,000.
Oil man Sid Bass and his wife, Mercedes, gave $2,600 to Hutchison, while brother Lee and his wife, Ramona, are on the Perry financial team to raise money for his re-election.
Investor Louis Beecherl of Dallas has given $100,000 to Hutchison. His wife, Julie, is listed as a member of the Perry campaign's financial team.
In the reports that show donations from January through June, Hutchison raised a total of $6.7 million while Perry brought in $4.2 million.
The governor, who is precluded from raising money during a legislative session, had only nine days to gather money.
The report shows that $2.65 million of his total, 63 percent, came from 41 donors who wrote checks of $25,000 or more.
Mark Miner, a spokesman for Perry, pointed out that many of the governor's supporters also had once been donors to Hutchison's senatorial campaigns, but are now picking Perry in the head-to-head race.
"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," Miner said.
Said Hutchison's spokesman, Hans Klingler: "We are proud to have over 6,500 donors from across the state including some who formerly supported our opponent. Plainly they all believe Kay Bailey Hutchison is the leader who will bring results not politics."
As the race heats up, some prominent Republicans have yet to choose between the two. Houston Texans owner Robert McNair gave $25,000 to both Perry and Hutchison.
Oil and gas businessman Dan Duncan also gave $50,000 to each, and rancher Richard Wallrath gave $10,000 to Hutchison and $12,500 to Perry.