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Tinderholt Reports $25K in Campaign Contributions

UPDATED: Republican Texas House candidate Tony Tinderholt has raised about $25,000 since July, according to his latest campaign finance report.

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*Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Texas House candidate Tony Tinderholt, a Republican who has attracted controversy over his comments calling for an armed invasion of Mexico to stop illegal immigration, has raised about $25,000 since July.

Tinderholt, who beat incumbent state Rep. Diane Patrick in the March primary, faces Democrat Cole Ballweg in the November general election for the Republican-favoring Tarrant County seat. 

Tinderholt's biggest donors since July were the political action committee run by the conservative advocacy group Empower Texans and Jeff Sandefer, an Austin businessman with close ties to Gov. Rick Perry. Each gave $5,000, according to the candidate's latest campaign finance filing. Tinderholt also received $2,500 from the political arm of Texans for Education Reform and $1,000 from former state Rep. Kent Grusendorf — whom Patrick ousted from the seat in the 2006 Republican primary.

These totals count just direct political contributions to the candidates and don't capture independent expenditures made by groups on behalf of a candidate. Empower Texans has in the past used independent expenditures in addition to traditional campaign contributions in its support of some candidates and its opposition to others.

Ballweg raised about $20,000 during that same time period. His contributions included $2,000 from the Texas State Teachers Association and $1,000 each from American Federation of Teachers and the Arlington Fire Fighters Association.

Although he trails Tinderholt in fundraising, Ballweg has more cash left in his campaign account — about $12,000 to Tinderholt's $5,000 — a month out from Election Day. Both candidates have made personal loans to their campaigns that remain outstanding. Tinderholt has put about $18,000 of his own money his campaign, Ballweg $22,500.

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