Texas governor race: Donors include Hanks, Damon and Chuck Norris

By David Yates | Aug 5, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) – On both sides, tens of millions of dollars are being raised in the battle to succeed Texas Gov. Rick Perry, with support coming from movie stars, colorful entrepreneurs and even a former president.

While state Attorney General Greg Abbott can primarily point to several famous Texans, like Troy Aikman for example, backing his bid for governor, his Democratic counterpart, state Sen. Wendy Davis, is drawing support from a number of Hollywood inhabitants, including megastar Tom Hanks.

Since February, each candidate has raised nearly $12 million, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Davis, who has raised $27 million so far in the 2014 election cycle, has often been criticized by the Abbott campaign for her numerous out-of-state fundraising trips to locales such as Los Angeles and Chicago.

However, the attempt by Abbott staffers to cast Davis’ roaming fundraisers in a negative light has not stopped the stars from aligning in the state senator’s favor.

In addition to a $250 donation from Hanks on March 26, Davis received a $25,000 donation from actress Jennifer Garner on May 19, campaign finance reports show.

Actor Matt Damon chipped in with a $5,000 on May 22. A few weeks later, singer/actress Bette Midler contributed $2,500 on June 23.

One could even argue Davis’ star-studded donations are not just out-of-state but out-of-this-world, as Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy donated $250 on May 29. The actor’s wife, Susan, give $1,000 a month prior.

Abbott, not to be outdone, has a strong supporting cast himself, receiving more than $21,000 in combined donations from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his former quarterback, Aikman.

Other famous Texans who have contributed to the attorney general’s run at governor include:

-Chuck Norris, with $15,000 in total donations from the action star and his wife, Gena;

-George and Barbara Bush made a $250 donation on June 19; and

-The oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens has contributed $12,500 to Abbott’s campaign.

Star power aside, Abbott continues to hold the financial edge, with more than $35.5 million raised heading into the second half of the election season.

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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