March 15, 2010
By ANNA M. TINSLEY
Despite a still struggling economy, congressional candidates are expected to spend at least $3.7 billion, a record for midterm elections.
Big fights always happen in midterm elections as the out-of-power party -- Republicans this year -- struggles to make gains. But this year, the fights may be especially intense, political observers say.
"A great deal is at stake," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "It's not only the economic difficulties we're facing but healthcare as well as cap and trade and financial regulation, all of which are of fundamental concern to the wealthy interests in the country.
"They are willing to dig deep in their pockets to fund candidates who will stand with them in these fights."
Already, Texas' congressional races alone have drawn more than $23 million in contributions this year, according to The Center for Responsive Politics.
Included in that amount: $1.5 million to Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, whose district includes Johnson and Hood counties; $1.2 million to Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington; $773,000 to Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth; $570,000 to Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville; and $220,000 to Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, according to the center.
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