Austin donors, lobbyists, and politicians are scrambling to throw financial support behind Speaker Dade Phelan ahead of his runoff election in May.

An invitation to an upcoming fundraiser in Dallas for Phelan to be held at the home of billionaire Kelcy Warren shows a host committee of over 60 members. 

Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and their founder Dick Wekley are listed on the invitation. TLR has been criticized for stoking the House’s impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton last year. 

Associated Republican of Texas, another establishment-aligned Austin group, is also on the invitation.

Two former speakers—Dennis Bonnen and Joe Straus—are also helping raise money for Phelan. 

The invitation notably includes a group of current members of the Texas House from North Texas:

Ben Bumgarner
Giovanni Capriglione
David Cook
Craig Goldman
Charlie Geren
Cody Harris
Richard Hayes
Cole Hefner
Jeff Leach
Morgan Meyer
Candy Noble
Jared Patterson
Matt Shaheen
David Spiller

Gov. Rick Perry, who has stumped heavily for Phelan in his district is also on the fundraising committee. 

Giving levels range from $500 to $50,000. 

The Dallas event is part of a series of fundraisers Phelan is slated to hold around the state. Next week, Phelan will be hosting a fundraiser with unidentified “special guests” at the Austin Club near the state capitol, a notorious hotspot for lobbyists and high-dollar donors.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens