Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.
Groups supporting former Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential effort have raised nearly $18 million, they announced Friday, cementing his status as a competitive, but certainly not dominant, fundraiser in the Republican field.
Perry’s campaign said it had raked in $1.07 million through June 30, the end of the second quarter of the year. Perry, who launched his campaign June 4, also had the help of a network of super PACs, the third and latest of which was set up earlier this week.
The super PACs have raised $16.8 million as of July 10, according to Jordan Russell, a spokesman for the groups. The haul was made possible by at least two deep-pocketed backers: Dallas pipeline tycoon Kelcy Warren contributed $6 million, and Darwin Deason, another Dallas billionaire, donated $5 million.
“Gov. Perry is well positioned and between the campaign and independent sources, the necessary funds will be in place to run a competitive, successful campaign,” Perry campaign manager Jeff Miller said in a statement.
Given the end date of the super PAC’s haul — which falls after the second quarter — Perry’s overall numbers do not lend themselves to perfect parallels with those of his competitors. But a rough comparison puts Perry in the middle of the pack of GOP hopefuls who have revealed their war chests ahead of deadlines later this month to do so.
More notable is the extent to which a few wealthy individuals are fueling Perry's White House ambitions. No other campaign or super PAC has so far disclosed raising as much from a single donor as Perry's supporters have from Warren and Deason, a technology executive.
A third unidentified donor is responsible for $4 million contribution to the super PACs, Russell said. That means almost 90 percent of the network's haul came from three people.
Perry's allies are hoping the duo's high-dollar contributions send a signal to prospective donors.
"This is going to open a big door for us with Texas donors who love the governor, but have one toe in the water," Austin Barbour, senior adviser to the super PACs, told the Washington Post. "They're going to see Kelcy Warren and Darwin Deason and say, 'OK, those guys know what they're doing,' and follow their lead."
Warren is especially close to Perry's campaign as its finance chairman. He also leads Energy Transfer Partners, the company whose board Perry joined shortly after leaving office in January.
The campaign does not have to report official numbers to the Federal Election Commission until July 15. The super PACs are not required to disclose their finances until the end of the month.