Romney heads to Texas in search of campaign cash

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

DALLAS—A week after Texas primary voters gave him the delegates he needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney will hold his first public event in the Lone Star State this campaign season.

He's scheduled to speak Tuesday afternoon at a Fort Worth office supply company, where he's expected to slam President Barack Obama's "hostility" toward the country's job creators—echoing his message from stops last week in Colorado, Nevada and California.

But Romney's real focus over the next two days in Texas is campaign cash. He's set to hold a fundraiser at the historic Belo Mansion in downtown Dallas on Tuesday night, before heading to finance events in San Antonio and Houston on Wednesday.

While the presumptive Republican nominee has spent zero time courting Texas voters, the state has still been one of the largest sources of Romney's campaign money, contributing more than $5.8 million to his 2012 campaign so far. And that doesn't include the millions of dollars in checks that Republican supporters have contributed to super PACs, including Restore Our Future and American Crossroads, which are working to boost his candidacy.

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But Romney's visit here also calls attention to the fact that he's kept the state at arm's length during the 2012 campaign. While he's regularly joined by other high-profile politicians at stops around the country, Romney is not expected to appear with former President George W. Bush, who lives just outside downtown Dallas, or Texas Gov. Rick Perry, his former rival.

And per local Republicans, the presumptive Republican nominee has ignored invitations to speak to delegates at the state GOP convention set to kick off Thursday in Fort Worth.

Romney has also declined to take sides in the state's closely watched Republican U.S. Senate primary between Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz. The race, already one of the most expensive in the country, has split leading Republicans—with Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum backing Cruz, a tea party favorite, and Perry and Mike Huckabee backing Dewhurst.

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Instead, the former Massachusetts governor is focusing on wooing donors who previously supported Perry and his other GOP primary rivals. Tickets to Tuesday night's event in Dallas start at $2,500 per person. Donors who contribute $50,000 or raise $200,000 from others get to attend a private reception with the Republican nominee.