"I'm humbled by the support in Lubbock and Abilene and I think it shows the momentum that our campaign has right now," said Congressman Randy Neugebauer, commenting on his $27,000 fundraising lead over Congressman Charlie Stenholm. A horse race barely out of the gates, but with over a half a million dollars raised in just six weeks.
"Money doesn't win you elections, people do," said Stenholm Campaign Manager Jeff Benson, discounting the relatively minor lead held by Neugebauer. "Congressman Stenholm's definitely going to be financially competitive with our opponent, but this race is about the people of West Texas, and who can best represent them," he said.
Who's donating? Everyone from ag to oil. In the Stenholm camp; the Dairy Farmers of America - $1,000, Dow Chemical - $1,000, and the International Association of Fire Fighters with $3,000. For Neugebauer; Lubbock City Councilman Gary Boren - $500, real estate developer Delbert McDougal - $2,000, and the Every Republican Is Crucial PAC with $2,500.
Both men are also receiving substantial support from capitol hill. Each candidate taking in at least $20,000 from other politicians. "I think it shows the relationships, the time I've been in Congress that I've already built - a number of the major committee chairmen have contributed to my re-election as well as a lot of my fellow members of Congress," said Neugebauer.
With seven months until election day, the gloves have yet to come off. But with Friday's financial disclosures, both men have been revealed as power-hitters - a prelude of what's to come. "It's going to be definitely interesting over the next six, seven months to see what both sides of the campaigns do," said Benson.