Craig James, the former ESPN and ABC sports commentator who is running to succeed Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, has released his tax returns from the last five years — and his opponents are expected to follow suit.
In his 2010 return, James reported a total income of $260,730, far lower than in previous years. In 2006, James reported a total income of $4.2 million. In 2007, that shrank to $2.4 million, to $1.3 million in 2008 and to $1 million in 2009.
Although candidates are not required by federal law to release tax returns to the public, in recent years the disclosure of these documents has increasingly become a way to project transparency that goes beyond the candidates' personal financial disclosures.
In a press statement announcing the release of the returns, James urged his Republican Senate opponents — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz — to also release their tax returns from the past five years.
"We must have the full confidence and trust of Texas voters and that starts by proving we have nothing to hide. That kind of transparency will enable the public to decide who is best qualified to fight for them in Washington," James wrote.
The sharing of tax returns as an extended form of disclosure has made headlines in recent weeks, as Republican presidential candidates have urged the wealthiest of their ranks — former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — to release his. Romney eventually released his tax documents from the past two years.
Romney's former GOP presidential opponent Gov. Rick Perry — who in his final days as a candidate urged Romney to release his returns — has revealed his own tax returns going all the way back to 1987.
Below we have embedded James' tax returns from between 2006 and 2010.
Dewhurst, Cruz and Leppert have indicated they will release their returns over the next several days. The Tribune will publish them as they're made available.
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