In its final weeks, former Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign spent nearly four times as much as it raised, according to federal records released Thursday showing the extent of the campaign's dire financial straits.
Perry dropped out of the race for the White House on Sept. 11, a decision he later attributed to fundraising problems stemming from his abuse-of-power indictment in Texas and failure to qualify for the first major GOP presidential debate. From July 1 through Sept. 30, Perry's campaign reported raising $287,000 and spending $1.1 million, leaving him with $45,000 at the end of the quarter.
Among Perry's largest expenses was $200,000 to Abstract Communications, an Austin-based firm owned by his former campaign manager, Jeff Miller. In its last campaign finance report, Perry's campaign said it paid nearly $400,000 to the firm, which offered a variety of services such as video production and website development.
Perry's $287,000 third-quarter haul was meager compared to his own previous fundraising and that of his onetime GOP rivals. By comparison, Perry's campaign took in $1.1 million its first month, which even then was among the smallest totals in the GOP field for the second quarter.
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Even as Perry struggled to gain traction, some notable names were willing to open up their wallets for him. In the third quarter, his campaign reported receiving maximum $2,700 donations from San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, hair products magnate John Paul DeJoria and Haley Barbour, the former Mississippi governor whose son ran a now-defunct super PAC supporting Perry. Perry also collected a $2,700 check from David Botsford, a member of the legal team fighting his indictment.
As Perry's campaign bled cash, it stopped paying staffers in the first three early voting states and at its Austin headquarters. He became the first GOP candidate to leave the race, followed 10 days later by Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor who also had fundraising problems.