Hillwood Development Co. — the Dallas-based real estate firm founded and headed by Ross Perot, Jr. — donated $100,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future on May 14, two weeks ahead of the Lone Star State’s GOP presidential primary.
Romney prevailed in that contest with more than two-thirds of the vote. (Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, the only other serious rival Romney faced at the time finished a distant second with about 13 percent.)
Questions to Hillwood about the donation were directed to the company’s public relations firm, Public Strategies, Inc. Officials there did not respond to requests for comment.
Twenty years earlier, Perot’s father — the business tycoon and independent candidate H. Ross Perot — had been leading in some polls of the three-way presidential race.
During his 1992 presidential campaign, the elder Perot spent more than $65 million of his own money and garnered nearly 19 percent of the national popular vote — the best showing for a third-party candidate since Theodore Roosevelt’s 1912 run with the “Bull Moose” party.
Ultimately, though, Perot was bested by incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush and Democratic challenger — and eventual winner — Bill Clinton. In some states that Clinton carried, such as Montana and Nevada, Perot won more than a quarter of the vote.
Earlier this year, Romney invoked Perot’s name as a reason to unify around his candidacy.
“You have to remember it was Ross Perot that allowed Bill Clinton to win,” Romney said on Fox in April. “The right thing for us, I think, is to get a nominee as soon as we can and be able to focus on [President] Barack Obama.”
This year, the senior Perot is also backing Romney. He donated $2,500 to the campaign and his wife Margot has given $1,000.
During the 2008 GOP presidential race, both Perot men donated the legal maximum of $2,300 to Romney’s campaign. Sarah Perot, the wife of Ross Perot, Jr., also donated to Romney’s campaigns this year and four years ago.