Democratic candidate for Texas governor Wendy Davis announced Tuesday night she has raised $12.2 million for her bid to be the first Democratic governor of Texas since Ann Richards in the early 1990s.
As a candidate, Davis raised roughly $8 million while the Texas Victory Committee Inc. raised an additional $3.5 million between July 1 and Dec. 31. Davis was able to bring in 71,843 individual contributions.
Meanwhile, Republican candidate Greg Abbott, Texas' attorney general, announced Tuesday that he hauled in $11.5 million in the second half of 2013. Abbott's campaign now has $27 million on hand for the gubernatorial race and has taken in a total of $16.3 million for 2013.
A rising Democratic star, Davis rose to national prominence in 2013 during a marathon filibuster to stop Texas' anti-abortion legislation. Although she ultimately failed, Davis gained support from Texas Democrats and the national party. She is considered the leading candidate to take on Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Incumbent Gov. Rick Perry has decided not to seek re-election.
"Texas remains a seriously red state, even if Democrats have enjoyed some measure of electoral success in cities such as Austin, Dallas and Houston," said Dave Levinthal, senior political reporter at the Center for Public Integrity and former reporter for the Dallas Morning News. "So no matter how much cash she raises, and no matter her rising star, the Texas political climate remains a fairly inhospitable one for a liberal candidate like Davis seeking statewide office."
Levinthal did go on to add that $12 million will allow Davis to fund a strong ad blitz in the state.
According to a news release, 84,704 contributions of $50 or less accounted for 85 percent of all donations made in support of Davis.
"Davis' fundraising numbers exceeded expectations and demonstrate the overwhelming support for her candidacy and campaign to be Texas' next governor," the release says.