Texas’ top 5 individual donors gave over $4 million in funds

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Texas is one of only 11 states where there is no limit to how much an individual can contribute to a political candidate for state office. With the latest round of campaign finance reports out, six-figure donations are not unusual for the state’s top politicians. The question is: Who’s bankrolling Texas politicians, and more importantly, what do they want? 

Collectively, statewide officeholders like Governor Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Comptroller Glenn Hegar altogether received $6.9 million in six-figure donations from independent donors. Additionally, Gov. Abbott received two, one-million-dollar checks to pad his campaign war chest.

Abbott received a total of $7.48 million from 30 six-figure donations and two million-dollar donations. Patrick received $1.1 million from nine six-figure donations. Paxton received $200,000 from two six-figure donations. Hegar received $100,000 from one six-figure donation.

Here are the top 5 individual donors in Texas this past campaign finance cycle:

  1. S. Javaid Anwar: The Midland Energy president donated $1.25 million to statewide officials. Gov. Greg Abbott was one of the beneficiaries of a million-dollar check from Anwar. Notably, Abbott appointed the oil and gas billionaire to the Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2015. When asked why he gives so much to Gov. Abbott, Anwar told E&E News he simply supports his free-market approach. “[Texas] has grown tremendously,” he said. “You just cannot believe how lucky we are to have these Republican governors.” Anwar also was one of the $100,000 underwriters to Abbott and Patrick’s inaugural festivities this year, according to the Texas Tribune
    1. Texans for Greg Abbott: $1 million
    2. Texans for Dan Patrick: $75,000
    3. Ken Paxton: $50,000
    4. George P. Bush: $50,000
    5. Christi Craddick (Railroad Commissioner): $50,000
  2. Michael & Mary Porter: The Cross Creek Ranch Owners donated $1.2 million to statewide officials. When asked for comment by the San Antonio Express-News, Michael Porter said, “I don’t give Gov. Abbott advice, I ask for nothing in return. I don’t want to sit on any boards, I don’t want anything done for me…I do this strictly to support Governor Abbott.”
    1. Texans for Greg Abbott: $1 million
    2. Texans for Dan Patrick: $100,000
    3. Ken Paxton: $100,000
  3. James Doug Pitcock: The CEO of the Williams Brothers Construction Co., the largest highway construction company in Texas, donated $785,000 to statewide officials. His company also wrote a $250,000 check to Abbott and Patrick’s inauguration, where the normal rules on political contributions prohibiting corporations from directly donating to politicians do not apply. 
    1. Texans for Greg Abbott: $550,000
    2. Texans for Dan Patrick: $200,000
    3. Glenn Hegar: $25,000
    4. Ken Paxton: $10,000
  4. Kenny Troutt: Telecom company Excel Communications’ founder donated $455,000 to statewide officials. Not included in that amount is Troutt’s personal check to the tune of $100,000 to Abbott and Patrick’s inauguration this year, to which he was a committee co-chair.
    1. Texans for Gregg Abbott: $425,000
    2. George P. Bush (Land Commissioner): $25,000
  5. Kelcy Warren: Oil pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners’ co-founder and billionaire, whom Abbott appointed to the board of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in 2017, donated $350,000 to statewide officials. He was one of the co-chairs for Abbott and Patrick’s inauguration this year and personally gave $100,000, which is not considered a political donation under Texas law.
    1. Texans for Greg Abbott: $250,000
    2. Glenn Hegar: $100,000

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