Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gets $6M campaign donation from out-of-state school voucher champion

Abbott, a Republican, called the contribution from Pennsylvania’s Jeff Yass the “largest single donation in Texas history.”

By Lauren McGaughy, The Texas NewsroomJanuary 17, 2024 10:27 am,

From The Texas Newsroom:

One of the nation’s foremost supporters of school vouchers dumped more than $6 million into Greg Abbott’s war chest after the governor made the issue a top priority.

Jeff Yass, a GOP megadonor who lives in Pennsylvania, gave Abbott $250,000 in October and another $6 million in December, according to state campaign finance data updated Tuesday.

Abbott’s campaign has ballyhooed it as the “largest single donation in Texas history.” The governor, who is not up for re-election this year, now has $32 million in his campaign coffers.

Abbott has raised more than $19 million since July, the data show.

“With this substantial financial backing, Governor Abbott will ensure that the conservative candidates who support his bold agenda to expand school choice, secure our southern border, and lower property taxes have what they need to keep Texas red,” Abbott campaign manager Kim Snyder said in a statement.

Yass also contributed another half million dollars to a political action fund, called the AFC Victory Fund, that supports school vouchers, the data show.

An early investor in TikTok who became a billionaire after cofounding the global trading and technology firm Susquehanna International Group, Yass is a prolific campaign donor. In 2022, ProPublica reported he avoided paying $1 billion in taxes, pouring that cash into political campaigns across the country.

But Yass never spent big money in Texas before this year, when Abbott made passing school vouchers his top legislative goal.

So far, the governor has been unsuccessful.

Abbott called four special sessions last summer and fall hoping to pass a bill that would allow taxpayer money to fund a student’s private school education. He was thwarted by rural Republicans opposed to the idea.

Abbott could use his campaign cash to target those legislators who’ve blocked his agenda, and has made promises to call the Legislature back again until it passes some version of a voucher bill.

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