AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has more than $7 million in campaign cash, raising speculation that the Republican might be considering a run for higher office.
With nearly $7.3 million in his war chest, Abbott has more campaign dough than fellow Republicans Gov. Rick Perry and House Speaker Tom Craddick combined, the Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Political observers have speculated that Abbott might run for lieutenant governor, governor or the U.S. Senate.
Abbott told the newspaper that the money is to bankroll his future runs, but declined to say which runs those might be.
"It's too early to get into the prediction game, but (the money) is to be ready to wage a vigorous campaign to ensure that I get elected in this next go-round," said Abbott, who is up for re-election in 2010.
Among Abbott's top donors since 2001 have included Houston home builder Bob Perry, who has given Abbott's campaign $1 million; Dallas investor Kenny Troutt, who has given $450,000, and utility billionaire Boone Pickens, who has given $322,000.
Since being elected in 2002 after resigning from the Texas Supreme Court, Abbott has attracted national attention for his pursuit of flimflam artists, Internet predators and drug companies that engage in so-called off-label marketing, or promoting their products for purposes not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Critics have charged that Abbott is a partisan and has sought to intimidate minority voters by prosecuting only Democratic voters for voting fraud.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.