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Six-Figure Donations Help Fuel Abbott's January Total

Fundraising reports for the month of January show Greg Abbott largely outraising Wendy Davis with the help of several six-figure contributions, while Davis relied on smaller donations.

Greg Abbott, then a candidate for governor and now the governor-elect, spoke at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12, 2013. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who was also running for governor, spoke to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.

With a month to go until the March 4 primaries, new fundraising reports show that leading Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, who outraised his expected Democratic opponent Wendy Davis in January, received several six-figure contributions while Davis relied on smaller contributions during the same time frame.

The Abbott campaign reported that it raised more than $3.1 million in its 30-day primary report covering the Jan. 1-23 reporting period. Davis reported raising a combined $912,996 during the same period, with $607,311 coming from her official campaign and candidate/officeholder fundraising committees. The rest of her reported total, $305,685, came from the Texas Victory Committee, which splits its resources between the senator’s campaign and Battleground Texas, a group working to drive up Democratic turnout in the state.

Abbott received five individual contributions of $250,000 from major Republican donors, including Houston Texans owner Robert McNair and Gulf States Toyota owner and chairman Dan Friedkin.

Additionally, Abbott received six $100,000 contributions, including one from Paul Foster, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents.

"Our momentum continues to build, and the support we've received has been tremendous,” Sarah Whitley, finance director for the Abbott campaign, said in a statement released Monday by the campaign. “Greg Abbott is thrilled to have widespread support from Texans across the state, and our campaign will continue to discuss and promote ideas that will grow jobs, strengthen our education system, preserve individual freedom and limit the size and scope of government."

Davis' official campaign fundraising committee and her candidate/officeholder fundraising committee did not receive any six-figure contributions in January. Instead, her donor base largely contributed much smaller donations.

“Our grassroots support continues to exceed expectations and demonstrates the overwhelming support across the Lone Star State for this campaign,” Davis’ campaign manager, Karin Johanson, said in a statement released by the campaign.

Davis' top individual contributions were two $15,000 donations from lawyer and former state Sen. Ted Lyon and the Texas State Teachers Association political action committee. Davis recently picked up an endorsement from the teachers association.

“We continue to receive incredible support,” Johanson said. “It is driving our momentum and will help ensure we can focus on the fundamental priorities – education, the economy and caring for our veterans – that matter most to Texans.”

Davis also picked up $5,000 contributions from her Senate colleagues Royce West and Sylvia Garcia.

The Texas Ethics Commission required candidates for state office to disclose their donations and spending for the 30-day period leading up the primary election by Monday. The reports became available on the commission’s website today.

The newly reported figures come on the heels of big fundraising totals from the last half of 2013 that were announced in January. During that reporting period, Abbott had reported raising $11.5 million and Davis reported a combined haul of $12.2 million from her official fundraising committees and the Texas Victory Committee.

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Politics 2014 elections Campaign finance Greg Abbott Wendy Davis