Rick Perry vs. the World *
Tracking the 2006 Texas gubernatorial race.
* Now at the new Rick Perry vs World

Friday, February 18, 2005
Life with lots of money...
...I wouldn't know. Maybe someday. But Republican political funders have to sort out which horse they want to pick. Wayne Slater in the DMN:
A Republican family feud in the next governor's race could leave Bobby Ray with a big dilemma.

The Plano home builder is a contributor to Gov. Rick Perry. But he's also given to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who might challenge the GOP incumbent.

And Mr. Ray has backed Republican Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, another potential contender in the spring 2006 party primary.

He's not alone. Scores of high-dollar Perry donors – Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, Houston developer Bob Perry, Dallas County GOP chairman Nate Crain and San Antonio highway contractor H.B. Zachry – also have helped Ms. Hutchison or Mrs. Strayhorn or both, according to finance reports.

The prospect of having to take sides in a fractious GOP contest could put loyal donors in an uncomfortable position, especially those who contributed freely when their favored picks ran for different offices.

Now, some with issues before government may fear retribution if they go with one of the challengers against the governor, analysts say. Backing the wrong candidate could make a political enemy, jeopardize business with the state or jettison chances of getting a coveted appointment from the governor.


About 40 percent of Mr. Perry's major donors in his latest report – those who have given at least $25,000 – also supported the Republican senator.

Mrs. Strayhorn, criticized by state GOP officials for attacks on Mr. Perry, has sought help outside usual Republican sources. She pulled in more than $160,000 from trial lawyers, who traditionally back Democrats, and at least $195,000 from executives of the Dallas tax-accounting firm Ryan & Co., whose partners include former lieutenant governor candidate John Sharp, a Democrat.

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