August 08, 2007
Money, it's a hit

Now hear this: Mikal Watts has a lot of money, and he's not afraid to use it.

Attorney Mikal Watts has the wealth to wage a Senate race in Texas, reporting in financial disclosure forms that he earned $40 million during the 18 months that ended in June.

Watts, who hopes to challenge Texas' junior Sen. John Cornyn in 2008, also has several properties, two airplanes and earned more than $5 million from the sale of his cattle ranch.


Wealth is never a guarantee of victory, but by contributing millions of his own money, Watts was able to show potential contributors his seriousness in running and give himself a head start against candidates less well-funded.

Senate races are expensive in Texas. In his last race, Cornyn spent about $9.8 million, while his opponent, Ron Kirk, spent about $9 million. Cornyn already has had some fundraising help from Bush aide Karl Rove.

The Democratic trial lawyer has put $3.8 million toward his campaign for the March primary and pledged an additional $6.2 million for the November 2008 general election.

Money is necessary, but it's never sufficient. Having a good story to tell goes an awfully long way, and a little pizzazz doesn't hurt, either. It's fine that Mikal Watts has money to spend on this race, though the more of his own money he spends, the more John Cornyn can ask his donors to give. But it's what he ultimately does with it that will matter.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 08, 2007 to Election 2008