The Texas Tribune today does the work of sifting through state campaign donations during the first half of the year to unearth the total contributions of some local, big-dollar Republican donors. Robert Rowling, he of Omni Hotels and Gold’s Gym fortune, and Ray Hunt, of oil riches, find themselves on the list of the top 10 individuals who donated the most.
Rowling, No. 7 on the list, has donated $442,500 this year. Hunt, at No.9, has given $385,000. Also on the list at No. 6 is Kenny Troutt, who built Irving-based Excel Communications in the 1990s; he gave a clean $500,000.
All three poured heavily into the pot of Gov. Greg Abbott, even though he won’t face re-election until 2022. Troutt gave him $425,000, while Hunt and Rowling each added a quarter-million. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pulled in sizable donations from Rowling ($150,000) and Hunt ($100,000), as well.
Troutt gave $50,000 to Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and $25,000 to Land Commissioner George P. Bush. Hunt added $10,000 to Bush and $25,000 to Railroad Commissioner Cristi Craddick. And Rowling gave $10,000 to state Rep. Morgan Meyer, a Republican whose district covers the Park Cities and into Dallas.
Across the state, ranchers Michael and Mary Porter ($1.3 million) and oil guy Javaid Anwar ($1.2 million) gave the most money.
A flurry of contributions—$35.7 million!—came in during the last two weeks of June, after the Lege let out and the moratorium on contributions lifted. That makes $80.3 million in all through the first six months of the year.