08/04/2011 05:26 pm ET | Updated Oct 04, 2011

Conservative donor Bob Perry gives big to Pawlenty, Romney -- and Rick Perry

One of the most prolific Republican money men, Bob Perry has played a critical financial role in elections from Houston mayor to the presidency. For the 2012 cycle, the conservative Texas home builder started giving early and often --and is hedging his bets in the wide-open GOP presidential primary.

Perry is one of the major backers for Restore our Future, a Mitt Romney aligned "Super PAC" that raised more than $12 million through the first six months of 2011, according to a filing Sunday with the Federal Election Commission. Perry donated $500,000 to the committee.

Romney isn't the only presidential contender to benefit from Perry's largesse. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty received $60,000 last September from Perry and his wife, and in 2006 Perry was instrumental in aiding Pawlenty's gubernatorial campaign by helping flood Minnesota with attack ads in the final days of a tight race.

Tim Pawlenty may not have great name recognition but he does have one very important thing for a presidential candidate: a hand in the pocket of Texas billionaire Bob J. Perry.

Perry, a homebuilding tycoon with a $600 million fortune, is a high roller among Republican donors.