AUSTIN (AP) — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has a net worth of at least $200 million, according to federal disclosure reports obtained by The Associated Press.
Dewhurst, seeking the Republican nomination to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, filed the extensive report in Washington last month, revealing for the first time the contents of a massive blind trust.
An analysis of the assets showed his net worth at a minimum of $198.6 million, accounting for more than $12 million in outstanding liabilities. Because the values were reported in ranges rather than exact figures, his actual worth is probably much more.
“This is a very wealthy man,” said Andrew Wheat, a research director for the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice. “I don’t know how to rate him compared to other state or federal officials … but he’s got to be toward the top of the tier in terms of assets.”
The report reveals the contents of a blind trust, as required by federal campaign law. It includes investments in Boeing, Carmax and Carnival. The fund, worth at least $50 million, also includes investments in Wells Fargo, Starwood Hotels and Tiffany & Co.
A handful of the investments were in companies that have been recipients of money from the Texas Enterprise Fund, an economic development tool that requires Dewhurst’s approval before Gov. Rick Perry can dole out cash.
Wheat said revealing the contents of the blind trust is better for both Dewhurst and the public.
“When it’s in a blind trust, there’s no transparency there at all and it’s kind of a trust-me deal,” Wheat said. Disclosing the contents “also gives him the option of recusing himself or steering clear if there’s a huge conflict.”
Dewhurst also reported debt of more than $100,000 on an American Express Black card and at least $30,000 in debt at Saks Fifth Avenue.
He listed a salary of more than $61,000 for being lieutenant governor.
If Dewhurst were in the Senate this year, he’d rank third on the list of the richest members of Congress. He’s not quite as rich as Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, but richer than Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, according to information compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics using data from the Federal Election Commission.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)