Aug 16, 2022 - News

Liz Cheney raises big cash in Texas

Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney at a hearing in July. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Liz Cheney is widely expected to lose her Republican congressional primary Tuesday, but she has far outraised her opponent in Texas donations, per an Axios examination of federal campaign finance data.

Why it matters: In light of Cheney's steadfast post-Jan. 6 opposition to Trump — she voted to impeach him and serves on the House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol — the donations are a glimpse into Texas' anti- and pro-MAGA forces.

  • And it's a window into Cheney's deep financial network, should she run for higher office.

Between the lines: Notable Austin donors to Liz Cheney for Wyoming include...

  • George W. Bush loyalists Karl Rove and Karen Hughes
  • Stacy Hock, a philanthropist and the Texas Republican Party's 2020 victory chair
  • Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, who has served as director of national intelligence and as dean of UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • Environmental educator and former state parks and wildlife department director Andrew Sansom
  • Veteran attorney Pete Winstead

What they're saying: "I had never contributed to Liz Cheney's congressional campaigns in the past. I was motivated to contribute this time to honor the role she has played in investigating the Jan. 6 assault on our democracy," Inman told Axios.

  • "I consider that one of the most reprehensible attacks in my long adult life and long public service. She has played a leadership role, without partisanship, of getting the facts out there."

Outside of Austin major Texas contributors include:

  • Dallas-based energy executive Jere Thompson
  • Houston beer distributor John Nau
  • Dallas real estate developer Harlan Crow
  • Dallas oil executive Ray Hunt
  • Houston philanthropist Nancy Kinder — whose husband founded energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan
  • Dallas investor Ross Perot, Jr.
  • Dallas attorney Harriet Miers

Yes, but: Texas money is also backing Cheney's opponent, Harriet Hageman, who has backed the former president's false claims about the 2020 election.

  • The single largest Texas contribution came from Windi Grimes, who in December contributed $10,000 to her campaign.
  • Of note: Grimes, on the board of the Austin-based, conservative-minded Texas Public Policy Foundation, is a Trumpette. "I try to make the world a better place through investments, policy initiatives, and if all else fails, I decorate it!" she wrote about herself on the Trumpettes' website.

Jeff Miller, CEO of Miller Strategies and Rick Perry's former campaign manager and chief strategist on his presidential runs, earmarked $5,800 for Hageman's campaign through WinRed, the GOP's fundraising platform.

Meanwhile: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who harbors presidential ambitions of his own, endorsed Hageman in late July.

  • Hageman told Fox News she appreciated Cruz's endorsement. "In many ways, Texas and Wyoming face the same struggles against the relentless onslaught of the federal government."

The big picture: Cheney, with her family's deep ties to the Bushes, has received at least 392 contributions this election cycle worth at least $1,000 from Texans.

  • Hageman has received only about 50 such contributions.
  • In total, Cheney's campaign has received $950,000 in Texas contributions this election cycle — and Hageman has pulled in $150,000.

The bottom line: Cheney is widely expected to lose today, but she could be plotting a presidential run — and Texas could be a fundraising stop.

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