They're easily millionaires, reporting assets of between $2.8 million and $6.7 million in 2008, not including homes used for residential purposes, Senate records show. The Senate records give ranges of asset value, making an exact calculation impossible.
Hutchison, the state's senior U.S. senator, is running against Gov. Rick Perry, the longest serving governor in Texas history, in an increasingly bitter Republican primary scheduled for March.
How the gubernatorial candidates have come into big money have caused each of them to swap accusations that the wealth was dubiously obtained, though neither has been accused of any wrongdoing.
Hutchison's camp has complained that Perry squeaked over the millionaire line thanks to real estate deals involving prominent businessmen and political figures.
Perry aides, meanwhile, have raised questions about Ray Hutchison's compensation from Vinson & Elkins, where he has served as a bond lawyer for projects that have benefited from his wife's advocacy as a powerful force in the Washington appropriation process.
"While typical for Washington politicians, the people of Texas deserve to hear directly from the senator how this cyclical relationship is ethical considering her husband continues to draw a half-million dollar annual salary from his firm 12 years after he supposedly retired," said Perry campaign manager Rob Johnson.
The Hutchison campaign notes that Ray Hutchison was a go-to bond lawyer long before he married Kay Bailey. Though he retired as a partner in 1997, he remains an active Vinson & Elkins employee.
"Ray Hutchison has not retired and he continues to be compensated for the work he performs as Texas' top bond attorney. The baseless and mean-spirited attacks on Kay Bailey Hutchison's family are the type of sleazy politics people have come to expect from Rick Perry," said Hutchison spokeswoman Jennifer Baker. "Rick Perry should act like a man, show a little class and leave Kay's family alone."
Ray Hutchison reported $483,000 in income from Vinson & Elkins last year, records show. The figure includes both salary and part of a deferred compensation plan put in place when his own firm merged with Vinson & Elkins in 1995. He also collected $11,000 in yearly pension benefits in 2008 as a retired Vinson & Elkins employee.
The Rick money article came out a couple months ago... Kay is a lot wealthier than Rick, and there are some potential conflicts of interest with Kay's earmarking and her husband's bond dealing, but...
I wish the candidates would just focus on their records instead of digging up dirt on personal finances. No wonder good people aren't running for office. They don't want to be subject to this kind of microscopic scrutiny...