The latest campaign finance reports shows Jeff Cason taking in over $90,000 in the last month, and the source of the donations make clear that the former Bedford City Councilman's campaign has become a priority for a key group of conservative activists.
Cason is trying to unseat state Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, in one of the most heated legislative races in North Texas. His campaign finance report shows him raising far more than any other non-incumbent candidate running for the Legislature in Tarrant County.
Cason's biggest donation comes from the family of Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, well known for pouring large sums of money into primary challenges as well as the Swift Boat ads against John Kerry in 2004. Perry gave $25,000 ($12,500 from himself and the same amount from his wife, Doylene).
Cason also took in $21,858.81 from the Houston-based Citizen Leader PAC, a new group funded largely by Dick Weekley (co-founder of David Weekley Homes) and Leo Linbeck (chief executive officer of Linbeck Construction Corp.). The two men are also the leaders of the Texans for Lawsuit Reform political action committee.
The next two biggest contributions have connections to Midland. Empower Texans PAC, the Austin-based PAC of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, gave Cason $17,660.96. TFR's chairman is Midland oilman Tim Dunn. Kyle Stallings, another Midland oil executive, gave Cason $12,500.
Smith's report shows him taking in just over $56,000. His biggest donation was $12,500 from the Texas House Leadership Fund, a new political action committee run by House Speaker Joe Straus and Republican committee chairmen in the House.
Here's a breakdown of the latest reports in the Smith/Cason race:
Jeff Cason: Raised: 91,049; Spent: $20,331; Cash on hand: $51,469
Todd Smith (i): Raised: $56,398; Spent: $88,015; Cash on hand: $94,808
A snapshot of the other contested legislative primaries in Tarrant County are after the jump:
Kelly Hancock (i): Raised: $78,950, Spent: $1,449; Cash on hand: $229,272
Charles Scoma: Raised: $3,400; Spent: $14,372; Cash on hand: $1,117
Bill Burch: Raised: $313; Spent: $13,887; Cash on hand: $11,631
Barbara Nash: Raised: $17,474; Spent: $4,573; Cash on hand: $14,061
Joy Keller: Raised: $30,760; Spent: $28,896; Cash on hand: $5,971
Bill Zedler: Raised: $17,935; Spent: $30,003; Cash on hand: $15,032
Giovanni Capriglione: Raised: $550; Spent: $12,039; Cash on hand: $150
Rich DeOtte: Raised: $1,700; Spent: $4,063; Cash on hand: $383
Diane Thorpe: Raised: $0; Spent: $0; Cash on hand: $0
Vicki Truitt (i): Raised: $148,667; Spent: $51,618; Cash on hand: $233,413
Charlie Geren (i): Raised: $109,945, Spent: $36,876; Cash on hand: $268,977
Matt Krause: Raised: $6,900; Spent: $6,965; Cash on hand: $5,343-Aman Batheja