Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The donors behind the major candidates

Mon, Nov. 06, 2006 / FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM

This year, the biggest names in the gubernatorial race aren't necessarily the ones on the ballot. Some of the bigger names may be the donors who are putting big bucks behind the candidates.

Here are some of the major candidates' top contributors and how much they had given as of late September. (Democrat Chris Bell's contributions from billionaire lawyer John O'Quinn came in October.) Libertarian James Werner is also running for governor.


Bob and Doylene Perry, a Houston home builder and his wife who made headlines for giving millions of dollars to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, known for its opposition to John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee. More than $680,000.

AT&T. More than $270,000.

Thomas Dan Friedkin, Houston car dealer and Texas Parks and Wildlife commissioner. More than $215,000.

Alice L. Walton, a Mineral Wells heiress to Wal-Mart. At least $185,000.

Other notable donors include James R. Leininger, a San Antonio millionaire and school voucher supporter, and billionaire Lee Bass of Fort Worth.


John O'Quinn, a Houston lawyer who helped the state win a $17.3 billion settlement with tobacco companies in 1998. At least $2.5 million.

Ricardo Weitz, a Houston auto dealer. More than $420,000.

Harold W. Nix, a Daingerfield lawyer who worked on the tobacco case. At least $250,000.

Terralynn Swift, widow of Houston energy executive Earl Swift. At least $170,000.

Other notable donors include billionaire Robert Bass of Fort Worth, lawyer Robert Patton Jr. of Fort Worth and oil company executive Lee Fikes of Dallas.


John Herschel McCall, a shampoo magnate from Spicewood. More than $850,000.

Jimmy Buffett, singer. More than $215,000.

Barbara Bowman, San Antonio rancher and oil and gas producer. More than $150,000.

Mark Friend Shurley, a Central Texas lawyer. More than $110,000.


Ryan & Co., a tax-consulting firm. More than $700,000.

George and Amanda Ryan of Dallas. More than $580,000.

John Eddie Williams Jr., a Houston lawyer involved with the tobacco settlement. More than $500,000.

Walter Umphrey, a Beaumont lawyer involved with the tobacco settlement. More than $500,000.

Other notable donors include W.A. Moncrief Jr. of Fort Worth's Moncrief Oil and Charles C. Butt of San Antonio, CEO of the H-E-B grocery stores.

SOURCES: Texans for Public Justice, Star-Telegram research

-- Compiled by staff writer Anna M. Tinsley

© 2006 Star-Telegram and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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