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Obama draws highest donations in Texas for presidential candidates

Gov. Rick Perry has not jumped into the race for the White House, but Texans have started weighing in with their pocketbooks.

Texas political donors have already sent nearly $4 million to presidential candidates, including Democratic President Barack Obama and more than a half-dozen Republican challengers ranging from Mitt Romney to Ron Paul.

Obama has gotten the most so far, slightly more than $1.4 million.

Those donations in no way mean that Texans, even those who have donated to declared presidential candidates, won't line up behind Perry if he decides to run, political analysts say.

"Some will double up, no doubt," said Larry Sabato, a political analyst and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. "Few big givers will want to get crosswise with their governor. It's never too late for the governor of Texas to get a truckload of money out of his rich state."

Obama has raked in the most money from Texans, and of that $1.4 million-plus, more than $70,000 came from Tarrant County-area donors, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Republican front-runner Mitt Romney came in a close second, pulling in $1.38 million from Texans, including more than $100,000 locally, FEC records show.

The one Texan already in the GOP presidential race, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson, has received the third-largest amount of Republican Texas donations, after Romney and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

After that, Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich raised the next-highest amounts in Texas. And Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson raised the least in Texas, according to federal records.

Despite the money that Texans have poured into various presidential campaigns, observers say plenty of donations will make their way to Perry, if he runs.

To read the complete article, visit www.star-telegram.com.

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