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Democrat launches Senate bid with his own $3.8 million
|Last Edited||Sarnstrom Jun 07, 2007 02:31pm|
|Media||Newspaper - Houston Chronicle|
|News Date||Thursday, June 7, 2007 08:30:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||AUSTIN — San Antonio trial lawyer Mikal Watts has launched his bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination by donating and loaning his campaign fund a total of $3.8 million — an amount equal to Republican incumbent Sen. John Cornyn's cash on hand. |
"I took John Cornyn's first-quarter report and matched it to the penny," Watts said.
"We're going to start with a level playing field, and then we're going to start raising money and see what the people of Texas have to say."
Watts, 39, donated $1.9 million to his exploratory committee and loaned it another $1.9 million. He formed the committee June 1, and its paperwork was available Wednesday.
Millionaire businessman Tony Sanchez spent $60 million of his own money in an unsuccessful run as the Democratic nominee for governor in 2002.
"I'm no Tony Sanchez," Watts said, "but I'm ready to and intend to put in the money it takes to close the deal."
A consultant working for Cornyn's re-election, Todd Olsen, said large personal expenditures will not guarantee Watts the nomination.
"The Democrats have a unique way of picking their standard-bearer, and I don't think big money would scare off other competitors," Olsen said.
Olsen said Democrats and Texans may see such a huge personal donation as an attempt to "buy a seat ... Big money may backfire."
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