Texas Republican establishment hopes to stop Donald Trump

Donald Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

HOUSTON, Texas (KXAN) — The spotlight will be even brighter on the state of Texas Thursday night. The GOP candidates will meet in Houston for a CNN Debate, but the real question in the Bayou City – will enough Texans stand behind Ted Cruz to beat Donald Trump?

Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and Fmr. Governor Rick Perry all endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

The Lincoln Reagan Dinner in Harris County wrapped up. To sponsor a table, some people had to put up $50,0000. They are some of the most powerful Republicans in the state, and Ted Cruz told them it was time to put the dancing bears away. He was talking about Donald Trump, and these people knew it.

“Who would have thought a year ago that you would have a prime contender for President openly calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers,” said Dr. David Michael Smith who isn’t a fan of front-runner Donald Trump.

Senator Cruz has raised more money in Texas than any other candidate.

Smith stands with protesters outside the Harris County Lincoln Reagan Dinner and sees the men and women behind the glitz as the reason for Trump’s rise.

“The corporate elites that manage, control, and finance the Republican party, they haven’t been able to satisfy their voters who frankly are southern, white, racist, voters,” said Smith.

But many inside will whisper to you, they aren’t a fan of Trump either.  Now that Jeb Bush is out of the race, his donors in this crowd look to put their money behind someone to take Trump on.

“Of course this is Ted Cruz’s hometown. I see a lot of his supporters. I see Marco Rubio supporters. We have a lot of people who are looking for who’s going to take back the White House in 2016,” said Harris GOP Chairman Paul Simspon.

Around 1,200 people a year come to this fundraiser. Harris County runs deep with GOP fervor. Right now, the establishment doesn’t want their current front-runner.  Big money and big backers look for the next person to go mano a mano with Donald Trump.

Senator Cruz has raised more money in Texas than any other candidate. According to the Federal Election commission, he’s raised more than $15.5 million That’s almost 30-percent of his total campaign money. Marco Rubio has raised just over two-million dollars in Texas.

Donald Trump has a meager $211,000 dollars in the bank. But he is personally funding the majority of his campaign.

On the democratic side Clinton is on top with $5,887,674 in contributions. Bernie Sanders has raised $956,062.

Donald Trump has won the New Hampshire Primary, the South Carolina Primary, and the Nevada Caucus. Nationwide he’s the leader by double digits. The polls have Cruz leading in Texas up towards the March 1 primary, when Texans go to the polls.

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