As Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton faces the worst political threat of his career over explosive allegations over his relationship with real estate investor Nate Paul, the industry’s biggest Some big names skipped his latest fundraising round.
Paxton raised $1.7 million in the weeks after his impeachment in May, an amount he called a personal record, according to campaign finance disclosures.
In May, Paxton was impeached by the Texas House of Representatives on charges of bribery and abuse of power on behalf of Austin real estate investor Nate Paul.
While the latest report covers the year through July 15, Texas lawmakers were unable to raise funds while they were in session. That meant Paxton was impeached at the end of the legislature’s regular biennial session, formally raising the money just weeks after members of his party turned against him.
Paxton’s largest single real estate donor was Dallas tycoon Monty Bennett, who donated $100,000 in late June. Executives at the Ashford Hospitality Trust have previously donated huge sums to Paxton, including $50,000 in 2022 and 2016.
Only three people have donated more than Bennett. Gary Heavin, founder of fitness chain Curves, donated $500,000, making him Paxton’s top personal supporter. The second and third largest donors are oil and gas executives.
Bobby Bowling, a partner at El Paso homebuilder Tropicana Properties, gave Paxton $10,000. While Pauling is a prolific donor to members of both parties, his June 30 donation appears to be his first to an attorney general, according to the records. Campaign Finance Database OpenSecrets.
Some prominent real estate donors have skipped rounds over the past few cycles. Jerry Jones, who donated $200,000 to Paxton last year, does not appear in the latest filing. Neither did H. Ross Perot of Hillwood, who has donated $25,000 a year to the attorney general for the past two years.
Of course, Paxton faces an uphill re-election fight in 2022, which helps explain the timing of Jones and Perot’s donations. Paxton won’t be on the ballot again until 2026, so it would make sense for them to skip voting this year if they’re just election-season donors. But Paxton has been raising a lot of money in the impeachment proceedings, and he’s no doubt trying to use the latest report in a show of force.
While some big names exited the scene, some smaller real estate professionals made their first donations. Jay Hester, owner of Fort Worth-based Hester Investments, listed his occupation as “Realtor” in his donation and donated on June 24 paid $5,000. James Mabrey, a Dallas-based developer who specializes in large-scale land consolidation and land tenure, donated $2,900 to Paxton’s campaign.
Scott Rohrman, CEO, 42 Real Estate, D Magazine is called The “people who bought Deep Ellum” bid $2,500. He has donated that much money to Paxton twice in the past.