Federal Politics

Published — May 29, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Tea party spends big in Texas Senate primary showdown

Dewhurst loans self $15 million in tight race

Introduction

Outside groups have spent more than $6.4 million in the Texas GOP primary for the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, more than any other House or Senate race thus far in the primary season, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The race pits establishment favorite David Dewhurst, a wealthy self-financing candidate, against the tea party-backed Ted Cruz.

Cruz himself has raised $6.4 million — a fraction of the $21.6 million raised by Dewhurst. Dewhurst’s sum, though, includes more than $15 million that he has contributed or loaned to his own campaign. (Cruz has given his campaign $470,000, according to FEC filings.)

Delayed since March due to redistricting issues, the Texas Republican primary is a chance for the tea party to build on its momentum after its candidate, Richard Mourdock, defeated long-time Sen. Richard Lugar in Indiana’s hotly contested Republican primary in early May.

Anti-tax super PAC Club for Growth Action has spent $2.5 million on ads, mostly opposing Dewhurst, the lieutenant governor of Texas. A pro-Dewhurst super PAC, Texas Conservatives Fund, fought back with $2.3 million in ads against Cruz, Texas’s former solicitor general.

“Moderate, tax-raising David Dewhurst,” is how one Club for Growth Action attack ad described him. This and other ads focused on his support of a state income tax and other “moderate” positions he has taken.

Club for Growth’s single biggest donor, Virginia James, is New Jersey-based investor who has been recognized for her contributions to right-wing organizations, many of which have ties to tea party funders Charles and David Koch.

Another major Club for Growth Action donor is the campaign committee of tea party heavyweight Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), which has given the group $700,000.

DeMint’s leadership PAC, the Senate Conservatives Fund, itself spent nearly $600,000 on ads supporting Cruz. The leadership PAC has received contributions from the political action committees Koch Industries, AT&T and other major corporations.

Club for Growth’s traditional PAC spent more than $41,500.

The pro-Dewhurst Texas Conservatives Fund received a $100,000 contribution from super donor Bob Perry of Texas-based Perry Homes and $100,000 from James Pitcock, Jr., of Williams Brothers Construction, the largest highway construction company in Texas. The super PAC is run by Rob Johnson, former campaign manager for Gov. Rick Perry’s failed GOP presidential bid.

Another pro-Dewhurst super PAC, Conservative Renewal, also received a $100,000 infusion from Pitcock and $500,000 from Texas super donor Harold Simmons.

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s super PAC, FreedomWorks for America, also threw more than $100,000 into the race to support Cruz.

While Dewhurst leads in the polls, they also show he may not carry a full 50 percent, the threshold needed to avoid a runoff in July. If the race goes to a runoff, whoever wins then is expected to take the Senate seat in the general election. A Democratic candidate has not yet been chosen.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.