Fundraising deadline looms as politicians plan for future races
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
We’re not even in 2013 yet, but that hasn’t stopped state politicians from planning—and raising money—for races in 2014.
The fundraising will have to stop at the end of this week, however, as lawmakers head into the State Capitol for the 83rd Legislature.
As for State Comptroller Susan Combs, she’s widely rumored to be considering a run for lieutenant governor, but has consistently avoided any firm commitment to run.
At a press conference Tuesday morning, Combs touted her department's report on increased transparency with state money, but there was a slight scent of political ambition in the air.
"She has to try to make an image for herself and she can't do it like the Agriculture Commissioner, driving around going to ranches. It's not part of her game,” said Brian Smith, political science professor with St. Edward's University. “What she has to do is manufacture press events that people are going to show up to and government transparency is one of them.”
Attorney General Greg Abbott's end of year plea for money brought out the ultimate Texas Ranger, actor Chuck Norris.
Many say Abbot’s money will go toward a bid for Texas' top spot—governor.
"If they're going to make a move, you have to start sooner rather than later," Smith said.
A big reason for the recent financial push is the impending deadline. December 8th is the last day to accept contributions before the 2013 legislative session and most office holders won’t be allowed to accept any more money until June, after the regular session ends.
"Money scares off candidates,” Smith said. “If I have a big war chest now, somebody else is going to say, 'Wow, they already raised this much money before the session even started and they're going to raise a lot more.'"
Up until the deadline, candidates can also raise money to pay off debts incurred during their 2012 campaigns, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst who is still millions in the hole after spending nearly $25 million of his own money on his failed U.S. Senate campaign.