WASHINGTON – Cash in the campaign coffers of Rep. Tom DeLay (search) rose to $1.2 million over the past three months, although much of the money came before the former majority leader was indicted in Texas.
DeLay raised about $920,000 in the three months that began July 1 and ended Sept. 30 in anticipation of a March primary race that will include Democratic former Rep. Nick Lampson (search). Lampson lost his seat in 2004 after he was forced to run in a new district under a redistricting plan pushed by DeLay.
Aide Shannon Flaherty said Sunday that the fundraising set a new record for DeLay. His previous three-month top haul was $800,000, she said.
DeLay, R-Texas, was required to step aside as House majority leader when a grand jury in Texas charged him with conspiracy on Sept. 28. A charge of money laundering came on Oct. 3. Both filings stem from a state campaign finance investigation led by Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle.
DeLay has denied wrongdoing. He is scheduled to appear in court Friday in Austin, Texas.
Most of the money DeLay raised came from individuals. But he also gained heavy support from Winstead, Sechrest and Minick (search), a law firm headquartered in Dallas that gave a total of $125,650.
Banking and real estate attorney Jack Perry (search), who is from DeLay's hometown of Sugar Land, works for the firm and has been a regular contributor to DeLay and other Republican candidates and political committees. He has given $7,000 to DeLay's campaign since 2002, according to the FEC.
DeLay's campaign also got a $2,100 contribution from the campaign of state Rep. Beverly Woolley (search), a Houston Republican, who was subpoenaed by Earle as part of the campaign finance investigation. She was one of the fundraisers for Texans for a Republican Majority (search), a political action committee founded by DeLay. The committee collected corporate contributions that are the focus of Earle's investigation.
Lampson reported raising about $323,000 in the same period and now has about $690,000 in his campaign chest. Most of the money was from individual contributions but included about $7,800 sent through MoveOn PAC, a political committee of liberal group MoveOn.org.
DeLay faced a relatively unknown opponent, Democrat Richard Morrison, in the 2004 general election and won only 55 percent of the vote, his lowest victory margin. He also was running in a redrawn district.