Texas governor George W. Bush Jr. raised nearly $2 million in a month through a mailing sent out to gauge the level of support he'd receive during a run at the 2000 presidential election.
According to Mindy Tucker, deputy communications director for the governor's exploratory committee, several hundred thousand pieces were sent out to his “friends” in March. She would not reveal the actual number of pieces sent out or where they got the names from.
The goal of the mailing was to raise $2 million. As of March 31, Tucker said the total amount of donations raised through the piece was $1.8 million.
“We still have donations coming in and we have not yet finished calculating them all,” she said. “We believe we will exceed that $2 million mark. At this point I would characterize the campaign as being very successful.”
A spokesman for the committee said before the exploratory committee mailing was sent out, supporters of the governor helped raise donations through “friend-to-friend” contact. He described this as representatives calling supporters as well as nonsupporters of Bush asking them to send in donations. Letters were also sent out. At the cut off date — where potential presidential candidates had to file the amount they raised as well as their expenditures with the Federal Election Committee — Bush's exploratory committee had helped to raise $7.6 million.
The piece was a one page letter, personally addressed to the recipient, from the governor that outlined some of his accomplishments during his tenure as the governor of Texas. People were asked to make a donation of $250 or $500.
Tucker said the committee is planning future mailings but plans have not been finalized.
Bush has yet to officially announce whether or not he will be running for president in the 2000 election.