WASHINGTON — Republican U.S. Senate candidates Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert are neck and neck in cash-on-hand totals, according to third-quarter FEC filings, outpacing the next-closest candidate, fellow Republican Ted Cruz, former solicitor general.
Dewhurst and Leppert each reported about $4.2 million in cash on hand at the end of September, with Dewhurst’s total topping Leppert's by about $1,500.
Cruz reported about $2.4 million cash on hand. The three are among the several candidates in the race to replace retiring GOP U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Dewhurst raised about $2.6 million and added about $2 million of his own money during the third quarter to push him into the top tier of cash-on-hand totals. His campaign spent about $481,000. Leppert, by comparison, raised about $640,000, plus $500,000 in a third-quarter personal loan. He spent almost $374,000.
Cruz raised slightly more than $1 million and spent about $227,000.
A Dewhurst spokesman declined to size up the competition, instead focusing on donors and the person who has been a consistent target in his campaign statements: President Barack Obama.
“David’s record-breaking support in Texas shows that voters across the Lone Star State believe he is the best candidate to fight Obama’s war on Texas, reduce spending, cut taxes and balance the budget,” Matt Hirsch, a Dewhurst campaign spokesman, said in an email.
In a statement, Leppert’s campaign cited Dewhurst by name, saying the former mayor’s “war chest is on par with” the lieutenant governor’s. And like Dewhurst, Leppert thanked his Texas donors, who he said made up 91 percent of his contributors. The Dewhurst campaign said 93 percent of its donations came from the state.
The two were drawing a contrast with Cruz, who raised a higher percentage of his money from outside of Texas. In a statement, the Cruz campaign said it "is aggressively raising money across the nation, and 65 percent of the total money raised is from Texas."
“But the point is not just how much money is raised,” Bernsen added. “It’s what you get out of that money. … Our fundraising is very robust and all throughout the state we have a much better grassroots network.”
Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, also a Republican, ended the quarter with about $304,000 on hand. Her campaign’s contributions and spending each exceeded $200,000 in the third quarter and she reported no debt.
A spokesman for Jones indicated the campaign’s sights are set on the lieutenant governor.
“David Dewhurst will need all the money he can get to convince Texas voters he has a conservative record worth voting for,” said Jones' spokesman, Patrick Isenberg, in an e-mail.
Richardo Sanchez, the only Democrat in the race to report substantial contributions, reported he raised about $83,000 for a cash-on-hand total of almost $119,000. He spent almost $113,000.
|Candidate||Party||Donations Q3||Expense Q3||Loans||Debt||Cash on Hand - End of Q2||Cash on Hand - End of Q3|
|Williams, Michael *||R||$170,680.37||$187,912.32||$150,000.00||$189,924.85||$265,488.61||$248,256.66|