Most Powerful Donors in Texas Politics
Money often translates to influence and power in the game of Texas politics. It seems the more money donated to a campaign, the more influence that particular Texas political donor has. Here’s our list of some of the most powerful political donors in Texas.
Harold Simmons, who owns the Contran Corporation, donated $965,000 to Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC last year. He has donated over $500,000 to the Texas Conservatives Fund. Simmons often gives to Conservative groups like Winning Our Future and The Red, White and Blue Fund. Simmons and his company gave $13 million to pro-Republican group American Crossroads and $800,000 to pro-Romney Restore Our Future, federal campaign finance reports show.
Bob Perry, who earned his wealth building houses, has donated $759,000 to Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC. He has also donated over $3.8 million to Conservative groups like Make Us Great Again and Restore Our Future. Perry has given large amounts to Mitt Romney’s campaign, and gave $2.5 million to American Crossroads. Perry has made most of his contributions to the Republicans, but also gave $175,000 to Democrats. Perry has given more than $15 million to politicians and office holders since 2000.
Harlan Crow earned his wealth through his real estate company, Crow Holdings, and is an integral player in Texas politics. Crow supports Conservative groups by donating over $1 million to their campaigns. Crow supported American Crossroads with a donation worth $1.5 million. He has also contributed large sums of money to Rick Perry’s campaign since 2004.
Robert Rowling of TRT Holdings donated $275,000 to Associated Republicans of Texas Campaign Funds. Rowling also donated around $1 million to American Crossroads, which is affiliated with the Republican Party. Rowling also monetarily supports Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, by giving $100,000 to Romney’s Restore Our Future.
Robert McNair is an avid supporter of Rick Perry, donating over $350,000 to Perry’s campaign. McNair also made a sizable donation to the Republican Party of Texas to the tune of $370,000 and has contributed greatly to Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC.
Trevor Rees-Jones is the chairman of Chief Oil & Gas LLC who has donated $250,000 to Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and $1 million to American Crossroads. He is a key player in Texas politics who makes hefty donations to the Republican Party and pro-industry groups every year.
James Leininger has made sizable contributions to the Texas Republican Legislative Campaign Committee in the amount of $2.4 million dollars. Leininger supports Republican groups like the Republican Party of Texas and Associated Republicans of Texas Campaign Fund. In addition to being the founder of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which is a conservative think tank, Leininger is one of Rick Perry’s regular supporters, giving Perry $25,000 in 2009.
Dan Friedkin of Friedkin Companies, Inc. has donated $195,867 to Gulf States Toyota Inc. State PAC and $25,000 to Texas Conservatives Fund. His main donor recipient in Texas politics are the Republican groups. Friedkin has donated over $700,000 to Texans for Rick Perry.
Peter O’Donnell is a Dallas businessman and philanthropist, and has been a reliable Republican donor for years. Among the thousands of dollars Peter has given to the Republican Party, O’Donnell’s most generous gifts have been $50,000 to the Romney campaign, and $50,000 to Hutchinson. Peter and His wife, Edith, have been a powerful team when it comes to Republican campaign funding
As our list indicates, big money still flows to the Republican establishment in Texas. Virtually all of the top donors and most influential political donors in Texas give big to Rick Perry and his political allies.