In race for Abilene mayor, Briley's fundraising eclipses opponents'

Richard Kennedy, Anthony Williams & Robert Briley

ABILENE, Texas - Campaign finance reports show that Robert Briley has raised tens of thousands of dollars more in campaign contributions than his two opponents in the race for Abilene mayor.

Briley has $67,642 in campaign contributions gathered since Jan. 1. Briley self-funded $20,000 of that total.

McMurry University Political Science professor Paul Fabrizio, who co-hosts a political AM radio show that airs on Fridays, said campaign finances are a 'good indicator' of how an election is going to end.

However, he believes there is never any guarantee it determines the outcome.

"It's not a one-to-one correlation between money and winning, but it certainly is an indicator of how things are going to turn out," Fabrizio said.

Still the amount raised by Briley is striking to Fabrizio.

"How has Mr. Briley been able to do that? You recall when he ran the last time, he ran against the mayor, against the establishment. Now it seems like the establishment is supporting him. Why is that? Why the change?" Fabrizio said.

Reports show approximately 15 couples donated $1,000 to Briley's campaign.

Fabrizio also says it's people with large contributions who are more likely to vote.

Nonetheless, one of Briley's opponents, Anthony Williams, has raised less than half of what Briley raised -- with campaign contributions totaling $25,319.

"It is a really important indicator, but it's not a guarantee of how the election is going to be. Anybody has a chance," Fabrizio said.

Richard Kennedy falls far behind in donations, with a little less than $1,000 in political contributions.

Fabrizio said that if you're Briley's opponent, you don't want potential donors to look at contributions.

"These numbers are going to be scrutinized by potential donors. People -- especially at the end of a race -- they want to give to the winner," Fabrizio said.

The election will be held May 6. KTXS will host a debate with the candidates on Apr. 20.