We knew Mikal Watts would have a lot of money available to him for his Senate race, both his own and money that he raised. According to RG Ratcliffe, that total is a pretty impressive $1.1 million for this quarter. According to his press release (which I've reproduced beneath the fold), Watts received support from "over 800 supporters who contributed to his exploratory committee, including almost $400,000 in Internet contributions through www.wattsforsenate.com." I'll say again, Watts isn't my guy, but I'm happy to have the bar set high. The more challenging the primary, the better shape the winner will be in for the general.
San Antonio, TX - The Mikal Watts for US Senate Exploratory Committee will report collecting $1,142,445.20 in contributions in its first 30 days. The deadline for the second quarter campaign finance filing was June 30, 2007 and the report is due on July 15, 2007. The campaign has a total of $4,898, 188.31 cash on hand in the same filing.
Watts formed his exploratory committee on June 1, 2007 and has kept an aggressive schedule since, crisscrossing the state several times and meeting hundreds and hundreds of Texans - a schedule that he will keep as he continues exploring a bid against John Cornyn.
"I'm honored that so many Texans have heard my message and agree with me that we need better leadership in Washington," said Watts, "Everywhere I visit across the state, more and more good Texans tell me that they are dissatisfied with the Republicans in Washington, and specifically with our junior senator, John Cornyn.
"People are investing in our campaign because they are demanding change and they know that I am someone who will fight for our interests here in Texas and not the special interests in Washington."
After attending 39 events in just 30 days, Watts' message of change in Washington resonated, resulting in over 800 supporters who contributed to his exploratory committee, including almost $400,000 in Internet contributions through www.wattsforsenate.com.
"Mikal Watts has been to South Texas fifteen times during the month of June and there is no one who works harder. He talks about issues that we care about and we trust him and know that when we send him to Washington he will fight for us here in Texas," said Juan Maldonado, Democratic Party Chairman of Hidalgo County.
"Mikal Watts is hardworking, likable, smart and has spent his entire career fighting for average Texas families," said Kim Devlin, Watts for Senate Exploratory Committee communications director. "People are excited about Mikal because he is a fresh face in Texas Democratic politics, which is vitally important to defeating John Cornyn."
"Mikal's incredible feat of raising over a million dollars in just 30 days and the strong support it represents from around the state, is one more indicator that Texans are demanding a change in Washington and they believe that Mikal Watts is the best person to have all the resources necessary to run a competitive, successful campaign against Cornyn," continued Devlin.
The latest USA Survey poll, released June 19, 2007, showed that only 42% of Texans approve of the way Cornyn is handling his job, with 43% disapproving. The poll demonstrates that Cornyn is the least popular US Senator standing for re-election in 2008.