(Updates with Ron Paul’s fundraising in fourth-fifth paragraphs. For more campaign news, go to ELECT.)
Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Texas Governor Rick Perry raised more than $17 million through Sept. 30 for his presidential run, his campaign said today on its website.
The donations, disclosed in advance of an Oct. 15 reporting date to the Federal Election Commission, likely will exceed anything raised by his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination during the year’s third quarter, based on his top competitors’ estimates of how much they raised. It trails the $18.3 million reported by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in 2012’s second quarter, April to June.
Perry entered the Republican race Aug. 13.
“The generous contributions from Americans across the nation prove the overwhelming support for Governor Perry’s principled, conservative leadership and vision to get America working again,” said Rob Johnson, Perry’s campaign manager, in a statement.
U.S. Representative Ron Paul, a Texas Republican, said today he had raised more than $8 million in the third quarter, which would be third-most among the Republican presidential contenders. He raised $4.5 million through June 30.
“We’re not competing with people who can wave a wand and get money from big donors,” Paul said during a luncheon speech at the National Press Club, emphasizing that most of his money came in smaller donations. “All donors are not equal.”
Perry’s report was his first fundraising disclosure, and it is harder for candidates to sustain donation rates after their most enthusiastic supporters have given and they are forced to find new donors. Perry reported that 49 percent of his donors came from his home state. He also received donations from the 49 other states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
The fundraising figures may provide a boost to Perry by causing undecided Republican fundraisers to take a new look at him rather than going to Romney, especially now that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has decided not to seek the White House.
Perry has dropped in opinion polls after drawing attacks from his Republican opponents in recent debates. A Washington Post-ABC News survey of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents taken Sept. 29-Oct. 2 gave Perry 16 percent, a 13 percent decline since early September. Romney led the Republican field with 25 percent. Perry was tied for second in the survey with businessman Herman Cain.
“This early in the primary season, with voters months away from heading to polls or caucuses in any state, perception is everything,” said Rogan Kersh, associate dean at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Perry, who reported $15 million in the bank as of Sept. 30, has been on the defensive over his support of legislation providing in-state tuition to the children of undocumented immigrants.
“If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” Perry, 61, said during a Sept. 22 debate in Florida.
He backed off his remarks a week later in an interview with a conservative website, saying he “probably chose a poor word to explain that.”
Romney could report up to $14 million in the third quarter, according to a person close to the campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the campaign hasn’t authorized disclosure of figures.
--With assistance from Kristin Jensen in Washington. Editors: Justin Blum, Jeanne Cummings
To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at email@example.com.