Perry Supporters to Seek More Campaign Donors Next Week

Perry Supporters to Seek More Campaign Donors Next Week

By Erin McPike - July 22, 2011

Supporters of Texas Gov. Rick Perry will hold another meeting next Thursday in Austin as the potential presidential candidate tries to determine if he can obtain enough financial backing to launch a successful campaign.

Henry Barbour, a nephew of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and a veteran GOP operative who will support Perry if he runs, plans to attend the meeting, which will include a different group of potential donors than those who gathered in Austin with Perry on Tuesday. The governor's chief strategist, Dave Carney, also expects to attend the meeting.

To date, Perry's advisers have said a key consideration centers on whether he will have the funding to make a credible run. Said Barbour: "I'm confident that Rick Perry can raise the money. He has a great record in a donor state, and he has a natural base to draw on."

Perry's official spokesman, Mark Miner, said he does not know yet if Perry will attend Thursday's meeting, as the governor will be traveling for much of the week. This week he returned to California for private meetings with business leaders, and also met with potential donors.

Texas Republican sources say Perry has begun calling a wider range of donors in the Lone Star State and has been more candid about the possibility that he will run. He's also been phoning donors across the country since the July Fourth holiday.

Perry seems to be moving closer to a bid, and Republican activists in New Hampshire, where his chief strategist is based, expect him to make a run. Teams for some of the leading GOP presidential candidates have begun their "research dives" on Perry and have also begun to disseminate some of that research in a preemptive effort to undermine him in the press ahead of a decision. (Democrats, however, have been far slower to attack Perry, even privately.)

Although he has not announced a bid yet, Perry is registering in about third place in some polls.

Erin McPike is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPike.

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