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Large war chests signify 'campaigns of the most professional caliber'

KVUE

Friday, July 16, 2010

While Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White leads incumbent Gov. Rick Perry in the fund raising race, experts believe both candidates have plenty of cash to pour into a highly-visible and highly coordinated months-long campaign for your vote.

Perry reports about $6 million of cash-on-hand while White claims $9 million ready to spend, according to mandatory finance reports filed by each campaign with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Sean Rima, the afternoon host at Austin talk radio station KXBT-FM “The Big Talker”, is looking forward to lively debate on his drive-time show.

"Watching two heavyweights like Perry and White duke it out is going to be fun,” he said.

The station's sales manager, Jay Wachs, is hoping the wave of cash into the candidates’ coffers will bring a big spike in sales.

“If it's a gubernatorial campaign, or a senatorial campaign, that spike could be as much as 20 to 30 percent,” Wachs said. “Politicians are learning the more they spend on broadcast, they more likely they are to capture somebody's attention.”

Radio and television stations across the state are looking forward to both campaigns pouring cash into commercials and air-time, but with war chests this big, the campaigns won't just be hitting the airwaves, they will be hitting on all cylinders, according to veteran Texas political watchers.

“We are going to see a no-holds-barred campaign; by air, by land, by sea,” said Sherri Greenberg, a former Austin state representative who now teaches at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

“We are talking about campaigns that are of the most professional caliber,” she said. “Both of them. Absolutely."

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