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SD-28 Race Enters Final Stretch

Charles Perry gets big bucks from Empower Texans in bid to succeed Robert Duncan while opponent Jodey Arrington collects some checks from some ET enemies.

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Early voting wraps up this Friday in the special election to choose who will succeed Robert Duncan in the Texas Senate. Election Day is Tuesday.

Fundraising totals released this week affirmed that the contest in SD-28 is a two-man contest between state Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, and former George W. Bush staffer Jodey Arrington.

Perry raised more than $326,000 in the month of August. That was $60,000 more than what Arrington raised over the same period. Also, Perry’s cash on hand total of nearly $287,000 was a bit more than double the $141,000 reported by Arrington.

The Arrington campaign came out soon afterward with a press release critical of the source of Perry’s contributions. In the release, the Arrington camp claimed that more than 50 percent of Perry’s money came from “special interest lobby groups in Austin.”

In particular, Perry received criticism for taking $40,000 from Empower Texans, which has been critical of Duncan and has endorsed Perry in previous House races.

Empower Texans wasn’t the only conservative group giving big money to Perry.

A PAC set up by Texans for Education Reform — which counts Woody Hunt, former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige, former Senate Education Chairwoman Florence Shapiro and Dick Weekley as board members — gave Perry $40,000.

Weekley gave another $25,000 to Perry while the political arm of Texans for Lawsuit Reform, of which Weekley was a co-founder, chipped in another $25,000.

Arrington, though, also drew some of his biggest donations from outside of the district.

His single biggest donor in August was the political arm of the Texas Medical Association, which contributed $19,360 in newspaper ads and another $10,000 in cash.

His single biggest individual contributor was Curtis Mewbourne of Tyler who gave $25,000. Mewbourne has given lots of money to lots of Republicans (and to a few Democrats as well) in the past couple of years. He was a main donor to Skip Ogle, a primary challenger to Tyler state Rep. Matt Schaefer who, like Perry, is an Empower Texans endorsee.

Arrington also received $5,000 from the political arm of Associa, the HOA management company owned by outgoing state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas.

Carona, of course, was ousted in the party primary by the Empower Texans-endorsed Don Huffines.

Former state Rep. Delwin Jones was sidelined from the campaign trail this week because of his hospitalization. His condition has improved throughout the week but his campaign finance filings showed that his campaign hadn’t lit many fires in August. He reported zero dollars in contributions.

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Here’s the week in endorsements:

• Republican Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Boyd: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC

• Republican candidate for state Comptroller Glenn Hegar: Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC; Independent Bankers Association of Texas

• Republican candidate for Attorney General Ken Paxton: Texas Association of Business political arm

• Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick: Texas Farm Bureau, Friends of Agriculture Fund (AGFUND)

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