Aug 16, 2022 - News

Liz Cheney raises big cash from Houston donors

Photo of  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 today, but she has far outraised her opponent in Texas, 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-MAGA and pro-MAGA forces.

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

What’s happening: Notable Houston donors to Liz Cheney for Wyoming include …

  • Nancy Kinder, a philanthropist whose husband founded energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan
  • John L. Nau III, CEO of beer distributor Silver Eagle Beverages
  • James Pitcock, CEO of Williams Brothers Construction Company
  • Andrew Levy, CEO of Avelo Airlines, the new Houston-based airline

Zoom out: Other Texas contributors include …

  • George W. Bush loyalists Karl Rove and Karen Hughes
  • Bobby Ray Inman, who served as director of the National Security Agency and has served twice as interim dean of the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • Dallas-based energy executive Jere Thompson
  • Austin-based philanthropist and the Texas Republican Party's 2020 victory chair Stacy Hock
  • Dallas oil executive Ray Hunt
  • Dallas investor Ross Perot Jr.
  • Austin environmental educator Andrew Sansom

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

  • The single largest Texas contribution came from Houstonian Windi Grimes, who in December contributed $10,000 to Hageman's campaign.
  • Of note: Grimes, who owns Balthazar Cellars and is 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.

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 worth at least $1,000 each this election cycle from Texans.

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