How did Gov. Greg Abbott raise $8.3 million in nine days, an eye-popping sum even for a vaunted rainmaker?
For starters, Abbott benefited from the support of 13 deep-pocketed backers, each of whom cut $250,000 checks to the governor's campaign, according to figures released Thursday. Together, the individuals accounted for four in 10 dollars Abbott raked in from June 22 to June 30.
From January through June, Abbott's campaign spent roughly $2.5 million. That left it with a balance of about $17.8 million, a massive war chest that Abbott could use to scare off a potential challenger if he runs for re-election in 2018.
Abbott's quarter-million-dollar supporters rank as some of the biggest Republican donors in Texas politics. Among them are San Antonio grocery store magnate Charles Butt, San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt and Dallas investor Robert Rowling, as well as Dallas oilmen Ray Hunt, Trevor Rees-Jones and Kelcy Warren.
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About a dozen more people each donated $100,000 to Abbott's campaign. They include Paul Foster, chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents; Ardon Moore, the Fort Worth businessman who chaired Abbott's inaugural committee; and John Nau, the Houston beer distributor who serves as the treasurer of Abbott's campaign.
All told, more than half of Abbott's haul came from about two dozen people who each gave six-digit donations.
Disclosure: Charles Butt, Robert Rowling and John Nau are major donors to The Texas Tribune. Paul Foster has been a major donor to The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.