As the Texas gubernatorial race heats up, one thing is for certain–Greg Abbott is loaded. He reported having over $29 million cash on hand heading into the March 4 primary, and that number is likely to continue to grow.
One of Abbott's biggest funders is billionaire and Houston Texans CEO Robert McNair. McNair, whose net worth is estimated at $1.8 billion. Over the past year, he's given $350,000 to Greg Abbott's gubernatorial campaign and another $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association.
McNair is using his vast personal wealth to ensure people like Greg Abbott are elected in states around the country.
See Bob McNair's detailed donation history after the jump.According to federal and state campaign finance reports, McNair has given $450,000 to Greg Abbott and the RGA in 2013 and 2014.
|Date||Amount Donated||Recipient of Donation|
|06/26/2013||$100,000||Texans for Greg Abbott|
|09/19/2013||$100,000||Republican Governors' Association|
|01/23/2014||$250,000||Texans for Greg Abbott|
Bob McNair has also given money to several other Republican candidates. In April 2013, he gave $10,000 to George P. Bush, current GOP candidate for Land Commissioner. He gave $50,000 to David Dewhurst in late June 2013, right around the time of Wendy Davis' filibuster. And in September 2013, he gave $25,000 to the Associated Republicans of Texas Campaign Fund.
McNair is a noted philanthropist who has supported many causes, including the Houston arts community and the development of Baylor Medical School. It's apparent that one of his top priorities this election season is to fill the halls of Texas government with Republicans, and no price is too high for him to achieve that goal.
The proliferation of big donors into Texas politics is nothing new, and McNair has the right to give away his plentiful cash as he pleases. But it's important to take note of the fact that one man with a lot of money can have such an enormous impact on the gubernatorial race. With the Supreme Court's recent McCutcheon ruling that lifted limits on campaign contributions, the equation of money with free speech is growing. That means one man with billions of dollars at his disposal can give as many millions as he wants to a candidate who cites white nationalists and doesn't think equal pay is important, and there's little that the millions of Texans actually affected by these issues can do about it.