Posted: May 20, 2014 3:16 PM
Updated: May 20, 2014 3:16 PM
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst fell short of fundraising expectations, taking in only about $1.6 million in the past two-plus months while lending his campaign nearly twice that as he tries to beat back a serious Republican primary challenge from state Sen. Dan Patrick.
Campaign finance reports released Tuesday show that Dewhurst, an energy mogul from Houston who has held his post since 2003, collected around 350 donations worth $1.65 million between Feb. 23 and last week. He also used three personal loans in April and May to pump $3 million into his campaign, after lending it $2 million previously.
Including other, earlier loans, Dewhurst's campaign now is carrying nearly $5.4 million in debt.
Dewhurst had promised as recently as Monday that his latest campaign finance reports would show he'd outpaced the $4-plus million Patrick raised over the same period. He was only able to do that, however, thanks to the sizeable personal loans.
That's because Patrick, a millionaire talk show host and tea party favorite also from Houston, reported collecting nearly $4.4 million in donations between the final week of February and last Friday. His campaign has more than $2 million in outstanding loans.
Patrick easily beat Dewhurst in March's Republican primary, but failed to capture a majority in a four-way race. Early voting is already underway for the runoff, which will be held next Tuesday.