AUSTIN – One week ago Republican House Caucus Chair Larry Taylor, Rep. Jim Keffer and Rep. Jodi Laubenberg announced that they were forming the Texas House GOP Debt Busters Committee to retire, in its entirety, the outstanding debt of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) by December 31st, 2010. This morning Rep. Jim Keffer, Rep. Byron Cook, Rep. Todd Smith, Rep. Doug Miller, and Rep.-Elect Lance Gooden held a press conference along with RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri to reveal the results of the initial fundraising drive to retire the RPT’s debt.

On behalf of the committee, Rep. Jim Keffer announced that merely one week into their existence, the “Debt Busters” have raised over $200,000 in contributions and pledges from 57 Republican members of the Texas House of Representatives, and that the numbers are continuing to grow at an hourly rate. Representative Keffer presented Chairman Munisteri a ceremonial check for that amount (pictured above).

Upon receiving this news, Chairman Munisteri stated, “On behalf of the RPT, I am humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support from our Republican House members, and for their generosity in giving contributions despite being in the middle of an important election season, where many of them are running strong races.”

“As a result of today’s announcement, I am 100% certain that we will accomplish the total elimination of the RPT debt by December 31, 2010,” said Munisteri. “The elimation of all debt will allow us to report, at the end of the year, a zero balance which will be the first time in over a decade that the Republican Party has ended the year without debt – an important milestone for not only our Party organization, but for all Texas Republicans who believe that deficit spending is contrary to our platform and beliefs.” The Republican Party, on June 18th, 2010, had obligations totaling approximately $680,000, which had been reduced to approximately $350,000 by the time of the press conference, so that the $200,000 now pledged will reduce the debt down to $150,000.

The committee will continue their efforts to reach their goal of $350,000 raised by December 31, 2010. At the time of the event, the following members had contributed or pledged toward the tally:

Rep. Dwayne Bohac
Rep. Dennis Bonnen
Rep. Dan Branch
Rep. Linda Harper-Brown
Rep. Angie Chen Button
Rep. Bill Callegari
Rep. Warren Chisum
Rep. Byron Cook
Rep. Tom Craddick
Rep. Brandon Creighton
Rep. Myra Crownover
Rep. Drew Darby
Rep. Rob Eissler
Rep. Gary Elkins
Rep. Allen Fletcher
Rep. Charlie Geren
Rep.-Elect Lance Gooden
Rep. Mike Hamilton
Rep. Kelly Hancock
Rep. Rick Hardcastle
Rep. Patricia Harless
Rep. Harvey Hilderbrand
Rep. Chuck Hopson
Rep. Charlie Howard
Rep. Brian Hughes
Rep. Todd Hunter
Rep. Jim Jackson
Rep. Jim Keffer
Rep. Susan King
Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt
Rep. Lois Kolkhorst
Rep. Edmund Kuempel
Rep. Jodie Laubenberg
Rep. Ken Legler
Rep. Tryon Lewis
Rep. Jerry Madden
Rep. Doug Miller
Rep. Sid Miller
Rep. Rob Orr
Rep. John Otto
Rep. Tan Parker
Rep. Diane Patrick
Rep. Ken Paxton
Rep.-Elect Charles Perry
Rep. Larry Phillips
Rep. Jim Pitts
Rep. Debbie Riddle
Rep.-Elect Charles Schwertner
Rep. Ralph Sheffield
Rep. Mark Shelton
Rep.-Elect David Simpson
Rep. Todd Smith
Rep. Burt Solomons
Speaker Joe Straus
Rep. Larry Taylor
Rep. Vicki Truitt
Rep. Randy Weber
Candidate Four Price