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  • Lilly & Company client makes bid for Ag Chair

    July 2nd 2014

    7/2/14 5:01 AM EDT

    Mike Conaway has quietly emerged as a Republican rainmaker, building some major political capital in advance of his likely run for chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in the next Congress.

    The Texas Republican has helped bring in more than $800,000 for other House GOP lawmakers in the second quarter of 2014 alone, according to a preview of fundraising numbers shared with POLITICO and confirmed by sources in the Republican fundraising world.

    Though grass-roots conservative stalwart Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) also has been mentioned as a potential candidate, Conaway already is thought to be the favorite to take over for Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) when he is term-limited out of the Agriculture Committee chairmanship at the end of this Congress. But Conaway hasn’t likely hurt his chances by holding events that benefit both top party leadership as well as rank-and-file backbenchers and emerging as a major contributor to GOP efforts to expand the party’s majority.

    “We help folks in a variety of ways,” said the five-term congressman, who also now has the difficult job of chairing the House Ethics Committee. “I go to their fundraisers. We give them money directly. We give money to the [National Republican Congressional Committee]. Primarily the fundraising and other efforts are aimed at keeping the House under Republican control. If it works to help with the chairmanship, that’s great.”

    Conaway’s second-quarter fundraising haul includes almost $230,000 for new members of the House Agriculture Committee at a June event at the Capitol Hill Club. He also organized an event benefiting House Speaker John Boehner back in Texas and appeared with the speaker at another agriculture event that netted $115,000 for the party.

    Additionally, Conaway’s helped raise $53,000 for the NRCC’s Young Guns candidate recruitment program, and $21,000 for the committee’s Patriot program — an incumbent protection effort designed to assist vulnerable members.

    Other events include an appearance with Rep. Tom Rice in South Carolina that raked in more than $60,000. He’s also kicked in nearly $40,000 from his own campaign and leadership PAC to other Republican causes and candidates in the second quarter.

  • GOP House candidates raise 17 times more cash than Dems

    May 7th 2013


    WASHINGTON - Houston has become a bastion of Republican congressional fundraising, with GOP House candidates raising more than 17 times as much campaign cash from area donors as their Democratic counterparts in the first three months of 2013.

    A Houston Chronicle analysis of Federal Election Commission data found that Texas and national Republicans raised nearly $387,000 from the Houston metropolitan area through March 31. Democrats raised about $22,000 during the same period.

    Houston wasn't the only big-dollar center turning its back on Democrats. Republicans, who represent 24 of the state's 36 congressional districts, also trounced Democrats in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, $801,000 to $138,000. Democrats reported zero congressional contributions in the Panhandle, the High Plains and Deep East Texas.

    Border good to Dems

    The only section of the state dominated by Democrats was along the Texas-Mexico border region, where the party raised nearly $197,000 to $9,500 for Republicans.

    The top Houston-area fundraisers were Republican Reps. Bill Flores of Bryan, with $253,000, and Kevin Brady of The Woodlands, with $132,000. The state's most prolific fundraiser was Republican Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, with $617,000. The leading Democrat was freshman Rep. Pete Gallego of Alpine, who represents the only politically competitive congressional district in the state.

    Flores' contributions included what may be the final federal contribution by the late Houston real-estate magnate Bob Perry, who gave the retired Houston energy executive $1,000 on March 14, about a month before he died.

    "I'm proud to be a person that he would support - whether first, last or middle," Flores said. "He will be fondly remembered as one of the integral folks in transforming the state from 'blue' to 'red.' "

    Wide range of sources

    Texas lawmakers received their donations from a wide range of sources - and locations. Houston Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee raised 100 percent of her campaign cash from Texas donors, the only member of the Texas delegation to rely exclusively on local contributors. Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Tyler Republican, received 88 percent of his contributions from Texans.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, Houston Democrat Gene Green raised less than 12 percent of his meager $36,000 haul from the Lone Star State.

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