News Column

Davis, Shelton Both Report Raising Big Bucks in Legislative Race

Oct. 10, 2012

Anna M. Tinsley

The battle for the Texas Senate District 10 seat is officially a multimillion dollar fight.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth reported Tuesday that she has raised another nearly $850,000 for her re-election bid, giving her more than $1.5 million in cash on hand.

Her Republican challenger Mark Shelton of Fort Worth also reported raising big bucks. His campaign sent out a statement that Shelton has received more than $600,000 in contributions and they added to that another $865,000 in in-kind media buys to say that he has raised a total of $1.4 million.

"The level of support and generosity we've received from our supporters has been incredible," Davis, an attorney, said Tuesday. "And I want every single one of our supporters to know we're not finished."

The Davis campaign criticized a press release sent out by the Shelton campaign Tuesday that "includes 'pledges' along with actual contributions received in order to show an improperly inflated figure. It is an extraordinary display of dishonesty for any campaign to attempt to include uncertain pledges as part of a cash-on-hand total."

The Shelton campaign did not respond to a Star-Telegram request for comment in response.

Davis and Shelton are locked in a hotly contested battle for the state Senate District 10 seat that includes part of Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield, Colleyville and other areas of south and Northeast Tarrant County.

This race has been marked by everything from allegations of possible criminal activity to one candidate releasing the opponent's campaign ads first and refuting claims made in them.

Four years ago, in another fierce battle for District 10, Davis unseated Republican state Sen. Kim Brimer, narrowly winning the race with less than 50 percent of the vote.

Reports due to the Texas Ethics Commission by midnight Tuesday represented fundraising efforts and expenses between July 1 and Sept. 27 in this race.

Electronic reports for Davis and Shelton were not available online by late Tuesday.

"Mark Shelton is using Rick Perry's budget math to obscure the truth yet again," said Davis spokesman Zachariah Evans. "His dishonesty regarding his fundraising reflects the dishonesty of his entire campaign."

Earlier this summer, state reports showed that Shelton, a pediatrician at Cook Children's Medical Center and a two-term House member, picked up donations from Houston home builder Bob Perry and his wife, along with those from the Texans for Lawsuit Reform political action committee, Fort Worth philanthropist Anne Marion, the Fraser for Texas Senate Campaign and the Chesapeake Energy for Texans PAC, among others.

Davis' campaign earlier this summer showed that she gained donations from Annie's List, a Texas-based PAC that recruits and funds Democratic female political candidates; former Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr; former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes; Hard Rock Cafe co-founder Peter Morton; and Lisa Baron, a Dallas attorney and widow of Fred Baron, a major giver to Texas Democrats and in national politics, among others.

Source: (c)2012 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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