The Debate And Dollar Signs

As the three leading candidates  in the race for the republican nomination for Governor prepare to debate tonight, democratic candidate Bill While is showing his fundraising strength.

According to his campaign,  the former Houston Mayor raised $6.2 Million in the last half of 2009,  including $3 Million in transfers from his campaign for U.S. Senate.

White dropped out of the Senate race in December when Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison decided to stay in Washington while challenging Governor Rick Perry for the republican party nomination for governor.

White faces hair care executive Farouk Shami in the March democratic party primary. Shami announced that he plans to pump $10 Million of  his own money into the campaign.

Here is the news release from White’s campaign:

Texans uniting behind Bill White as Texas’ next Governor
Financial results show a strong campaign

HOUSTON, TEXAS — As of the end of the last filing period on Dec. 31, more than 7,000 supporters had contributed to former Houston Mayor Bill White’s campaign.

In the 28 days after White’s Dec. 4 announcement for governor, supporters responded with more than $2.5 million, for an average fundraising rate of over $90,000 per day. With transfers and in-kind donations, the effort to elect Bill White as governor collected more than $6.2 million and ended the year with nearly $5.5 million on hand.

“The response to Bill’s announcement that he’d consider running for governor was enormous, with more than 8,000 Texans emailing him to encourage him to run. Then, once Bill decided to run, those supporters responded with generous financial support,” said Campaign Finance Chair Scott Atlas. “We’ll be ready for November.”

To date, White’s combined campaigns have collected more than $10 million since December 2008.

The son of San Antonio school teachers, White helped build a law firm and managed a successful business before being elected Houston’s mayor in 2003. Since then, he’s been re-elected twice with 86% and 91% of the vote. During White’s administration, Houston led the nation’s cities in job growth, adding more jobs than sixteen states combined. At the same time, he cut property tax rates five years in a row and helped seniors with tax relief. White also started a special initiative that gives returning veterans the welcome they deserve with coordinated social services, reductions in red tape, and employment opportunities. After Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, Bill White mobilized effective disaster response including first responders, businesses and churches. For his compassionate, hands-on leadership after Katrina, White received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2007. Previously, he served as Deputy Secretary of Energy of the United States.

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