Texas Sen. Wendy Davis is the leading Democratic candidate for governor. / LM Otero, AP
Democrat Wendy Davis outraised Republican Greg Abbott in the last six months of 2013 for what will probably be a barn-burner race for Texas governor.
Davis said she raised more than $12.2 million from July through December, while Abbott brought in $11.5 million over the same period. But Abbott, the state attorney general, now has $27 million in the bank for the race to succeed outgoing Gov. Rick Perry in the GOP stronghold.
Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, did not state her cash on hand. She has an uphill battle in Texas, which hasn't elected a Democrat as governor since Ann Richards in 1990. Political experts estimate it will take $40 million for a candidate to mount a successful campaign in a state where expensive TV ads are necessary.
This is the first campaign report from Davis since she formally declared her candidacy in October. She burst onto the national scene last year with her marathon filibuster of a bill restricting access to abortion.
"Davis' fundraising numbers exceeded expectations," her campaign said in a news release.
The senator's campaign finance totals include funds raised by the Texas Victory Committee, a joint effort that splits money between the Davis campaign and Battleground Texas, a group trying to turn Texas blue. She touted that she received contributions from more than 71,000 individuals, while 85% of her donations came in checks of $50 or less. Additionally, Davis said she received contributions from all 254 Texas counties. She has been raising money in cities such as San Francisco, New York and Washington - which is typical for a Democrat with a national profile.
Abbott started his campaign with more than $20 million in the bank. His campaign said 97% of his donors came from Texas.
"This is a campaign by Texans, for Texans, and Greg Abbott is humbled by the widespread support from across the state," his campaign manager, Wayne Hamilton, said in a statement.
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