AUSTIN (AP) — U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican primary rival of Gov. Rick Perry next year, revealed Thursday she has transferred $7.9 million from her federal campaign account into a state fund.

Perry, meanwhile, reported raising $4.7 million in the last half of 2008 and having $6.6 million in campaign cash on hand at the end of December.

Both politicians had to report their fundraising activity Thursday to the Texas Ethics Commission. Their hefty totals show that an election showdown between the two would be a big-spending and likely hard-hitting affair.

Hutchison had already announced she was moving $1 million from her federal to a state campaign account. Two other transfers in December brought that total to nearly $8 million. Hutchison spokesman Todd Olsen said the senator had only $31,976 in individual contributions for the reporting period. He said her state race fundraising began in earnest after the Christmas holidays. So that money would show up on a later campaign report.

Hutchison formed an exploratory committee for a run for governor. She told the Dallas Morning News this week she was committed to running against Perry in 2010. Her aides say she has been traveling the state and hearing from Texans who want her to run.

Perry is serving his second full term as governor. He ascended to the office in December 2000 when then-Gov. George W. Bush resigned to become president. Perry won election on his own to the office in 2002 and 2006.



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