O’Rourke maintains blistering fundraising pace in race against Cruz


Highlights

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke continues to raise more money than his rival, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

But Cruz remains the favorite and should have all the money he needs to fuel his re-election bid.

Maintaining his blistering fundraising pace in his Senate bid, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke raised more than $10.4 million in the second quarter of the year, more than twice as much as U.S. Sen Ted Cruz, the Republican incumbent he is seeking to unseat.

O’Rourke had $14 million cash on hand as of the end of June, compared with $10.4 million for Cruz.

The Cruz campaign reported raising $4.6 million in the second quarter, with donations from people in 1,185 cities across Texas.

The fundraising reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday.

O’Rourke, a Democrat from El Paso and a decided underdog despite his strong fundraising numbers, announced his latest figure in a Facebook Live update on the campaign Wednesday night.

RELATED: MJ Hegar’s viral video does big box office in campaign cash

“In the last three months, all of us together, without PACs or corporations or special interests, have raised more than $10.4 million and that comes from 215,714 contributors, most of them from Texas,” O’Rourke said, sitting on the stoop of the Capitol Hill house he shares with two congressional colleagues when he is in Washington.

“The average contribution has been $33 over these last three months. So, this is amazing, and you are making it happen, and I just wanted to say thank you, keep it up, fewer than four months to go and we’ve got to reach everyone in Texas,” O’Rourke said.

The announcement followed a nine-day drive he made across 1,000 miles of Texas.

O’Rourke has out-raised Cruz in all but one quarter since he announced his Senate candidacy in March 2017.

Even if O’Rourke appears formidable heading into the fall campaign, Cruz can expect to have all the money he needs, in both direct donations and the independent expenditures of super PACS — both supporting him and opposing O’Rourke — in his bid for a second term.

Cruz, who is better known than O’Rourke, also will benefit from running in a state with a strong habit of voting Republican and with a well-organized statewide GOP campaign led by Gov. Greg Abbott’s very well-financed re-election effort.

READ: Poll shows Democrats narrowing margins in some statewide races

The themes of Cruz’s campaign against O’Rourke were evident in Cruz campaign spokeswoman Emily Miller’s comments on the fundraising numbers.

“The last month has made the decision for voters more clear. Texans now see Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke wants open borders and gun control. He said he is ‘open to’ abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and would vote to impeach Pres. Donald Trump,” Miller said. “In contrast, Sen. Cruz has spent the last six years successfully fighting for the issues that matter to Texans: promoting jobs, cutting taxes, reducing regulations, securing the border, expanding school choice and defending the Constitution.”



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