Half of all the donations to presidential candidates in the 2016 election have come from only 158 families, according to a New York Times investigation, and eight of them are neighbors in River Oaks.
Nationwide, the families and the companies they own or control have contributed $176 million in the first phase of the campaign, according to Federal Election Commission filings through June 30. An overwhelming number — 138— are backing Republicans while only 20 are supporting Democrats, the Times says.
The eight Houston families who live within a half mile of each other in River Oaks (shown in a graphic in the Times story) all contributed to Republicans. Rich and Nancy Kinder, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair and his wife, Janice, and Hushang Ansary, a Houston businessman and former Iranian ambassador to the United States, and his wife, Shahla, donated $2 million to Republicans.
Investor Fayez Sarofim has given $530,000 while John L. Nau, CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors, donated $500,000. Oil executives James C. Flores, Jeffrey Hildebrand and Tracy W. Krohn, an auto racing enthusiast and founder of W&T Offshore, contributed $250,000 each.
Another Houston resident, Douglas Foshee, CEO of Sallyport Investments and former CEO of El Paso Corp., ponied up $750,000. (For a full listing of donors, click here.)
Donations from Houstonians, however, pale in comparison to their Dallas counterparts. Nearly $13 million in donations to Republican presidential candidates and their super PACs came from the exclusive Preston Hollow neighborhood in Dallas, home to former President George W. Bush and other leading Dallas Republicans.
Much of it went to Jeb Bush, according to the Times, but some of the neighborhood's biggest donors supported former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has dropped out of the race. Dallas pipeline owner Kelcy Warren donated $6 million to a super PAC supporting Perry, while another neighbor, Darwin Deason, gave $5 million. Deason made his fortune by selling a data processing company to Xerox.
Ray Lee Hunt, a descendant of the oil-rich H.L. Hunt family in Dallas, and his wife have donated $2 million to Bush.
Other top donors include Dallas oil billionaire Trevor Rees-Jones and his wife, Jan, who gave $2 million and Dan and Farris Wilks and their spouses, who have donated a whopping $15 million to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. The Wilks brothers, who hail from Cisco, Texas, own a trucking and equipment business that has amassed a fortune in the fracking boom.
Also on the list: Presidential candidate Jeb Bush and family, including two ex-presidents, his father, George H.W., and his brother George W., donated $850,000 during this period. Wonder who for?