Texas has voted red for the past four presidential elections, and local money is trying to ensure that continues.
Based on data reported by the Center for Responsive Politics and the Federal Election Commission, donations to presidential campaigns from Park Cities and Preston Hollow zip codes totaled more than $2 million through October 2015. The CRP’s Open Secrets website showed that Dallas as a whole has donated more than $4.6 million to all candidates combined, about 43 percent of which comes from the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. About 75 percent, or $1.5 million, of those contributions have gone to somebody in the large GOP field.
Despite that fact, Hillary Clinton has garnered more than $493,000, the largest amount of money donated to any single campaign from the area. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is the favored Republican candidate across the board in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow — following close behind Clinton — with more than $469,000 through October. Year-end figures aren’t yet available.
While former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign was cut short, he managed to gain the two largest monetary contributions from the area. In addition to money given directly to his three-month campaign, the two largest contributions reported by the CRP were made to the Opportunity and Freedom political-action committee, which backed Perry. Preston Hollow resident Kelcy Warren donated $6 million, while University Park’s Darwin Deason contributed $5 million.
Trevor Rees-Jones, another UP resident, made the third largest contribution in the area — $2 million to the Right to Rise PAC, which supports Jeb Bush.
According to Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at SMU, the donation trends are not surprising.
“Both areas have extraordinarily wealthy residents,” Jillson said. “The more money you have, the more comfortable you are giving.”
The Texas primaries will take place on March 1, narrowing the field for donors who may be waiting for the parties to select their candidate. However, the numbers reported could be indicative of what to expect from Park Cities and Preston Hollow voters in November.
“Texas is a red conservative state,” Jillson said, “and the wealthy usually lean toward the Republican party.”