I mentioned the CD17 race between Rep. Chet Edwards and challenger Van Taylor in that last post. Taylor just had himself a big fundraiser in Waco, but it was not as big as he might have liked despite the presence of Vice President Dick Cheney.
In endorsing Taylor, Cheney made his first public appearance in Texas since his hunting accident in February, drawing a smaller crowd than a similar fundraiser he headlined two years ago for Arlene Wohlgemuth, U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards’ last Republican challenger. Taylor said Cheney’s event rallied together the supporters he’ll need to defeat Edwards, D-Waco, an eight-term incumbent.
Two years ago, Cheney was cheered by a larger crowd of nearly 400 as he helped state Rep. Wohlgemuth raise more than $300,000 for her campaign against Edwards.
The Taylor event cost its guests $150 to $2,100. Taylor resisted comparisons that he had a smaller turnout and would raise less money from Monday’s luncheon.
“This was a hugely successful event,” Taylor said. “We had to remove all the tables so everyone could fit in.”
Guests stood as they snacked on cheese and vegetable trays, roast beef sandwiches and other foods.
Although the campaign said paid attendance at the Waco Hilton reached about 150, the crowd appeared to have fewer than 100 people. Taylor would not say how much he expected to raise, claiming he does not disclose fundraiser totals until filing reports with the Federal Election Commission.
Edwards’ campaign manager, Chris Turner, said the turnout likely fell short of Taylor’s expectations.
“The fact that the Taylor campaign won’t indicate how much they raised is likely an indication they didn’t meet their goals,” Turner said. “Having less than 150 people at a fundraiser with the vice president of the United States is a reflection of a lack of support and enthusiasm for Van Taylor.”