Republican presidential contender Rick Perry is the preferred candidate among Texan campaign donors, but rival Mitt Romney dominates with George W. Bush donors and larger individual contributions.
Data from the Federal Election Commission reveals that Texas Gov. Perry has raised $9,715,510 in his home state. The Perry campaign donations far outweighs the over $2 million both Romney and President Barack Obama collected in the Lone Star State.
However, Romney has drawn more money where it counts the most – large individual contributions. According to campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets.org, Romney has raised $29,210,817 from large contributors. Perry, by contrast, has raised $16,310,621 from large contributors.
Romney has an additional advantage: he has netted the donations of Bush’s “pioneers and rangers.”
During his 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns, Bush established two tiers of top-level fundraisers who could “bundle” donations from various people in their community. Bundlers who raised $100,000+ were labeled “pioneers” while those who raised $200,000+ were considered “rangers.” Pioneers and Rangers raised $550 million for Bush’s two presidential runs, according to the Houston Chronicle.
USA Today revealed that those top-tier bundlers included Tom Everist, board member of tech company Raven Industries, St. Louis Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. and the late Richard Egan, co-founder of fortune 500 company EMC Corp.
Now some of those same bundlers – Sam Fox of the Republican Jewish Coalition, U.S. Ambassador Craig Stapleton and coal and timber operator James Harless – are giving to Romney’s campaign.
Bush pioneer-turned-Romney donor Les Csorba told the Houston Chronicle, “He (Romney) has impeccable integrity, has strong family values and [is] the only one in the GOP field who can really bring people together and get things accomplished.”
Unlike Perry, Romney has been a consistent front-runner in the 2012 race for the GOP primary. Businessman Herman Cain has taken Perry’s top spot in the polls. However, he has little if any support from the Bush pioneers.
Cain has raised $4,656,235 in individual donations. Of that amount, 50 percent were donated by small individual donors.
Most notable of the former Bush-pioneers-turned-Romney-donors is younger brother Marvin Bush who gave the maximum $2,500 donation.
Perry did pull some Bush supporters such as San Diego Chargers owner Alexander Spanos. He also benefited from Bush pioneers such as former politician James A. Bakers who gave to both Romney and Perry.
While Romney has the most large contribution donors, he has spent more than half of the $32,035,088 he raised in individual contributions. Perry, who has raised $16,987,591 in individual donations, has slightly more cash on hand; $15,078,415 compared to Romney’s $14,656,966.