The top candidates in the Texas governor's race collected more than $35 million in campaign donations and loans last year, setting the stage for an expensive advertising war ahead of the March 2 party primaries.
We've compiled all the candidates' campaign receipts into a searchable database after Friday's year-end filings with the Texas Ethics Commission. You can also search how Rick Perry, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Debra Medina, Bill White and Farouk Shami spent the money.
More than 25,000 people donated to the candidates, at an average of roughly $1,300, though loans and account transfers by the two top Democrats in the race skew that figure. Shami loaned his campaign more than $5 million, for example, and White, who until December 4 was a U.S. Senate candidate, transfered more than $3 million from his federal campaign account into the gubernatorial contest.
As expected, about a third of the collections came from the state's largest cities: Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.
The top Republicans in the race — Perry and Hutchison — raised a combined $24 million in 2009, the records show. Both entered the year with roughly $6 million in their respective war chests: Perry from his tenure as the state's longest-serving governor, and Hutchison from her 17-year career in the U.S. Senate. Medina, a party activist fighting for respect and attention in the race, raised about $230,000.
The five candidates combined spent more than $20 million in 2009: Hutchison ($8.2 million), Perry ($6 million) Shami ($5.4 million), Medina ($160,000), and White ($150,000).
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