A new record for that sort of thing.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke raised a staggering $27.6 million from late February through June, outraising Republican incumbent Greg Abbott and setting a new record for campaign fundraising in Texas.
O’Rourke’s campaign announced the haul Friday morning, and Abbott’s followed with the announcement that he raised $24.9 million over the same period. O’Rourke’s $27.6 million is the most a candidate for state office in Texas has ever raised in a reporting period.
Still, Abbott maintains a decisive advantage in cash on hand. His campaign said it had $45.7 million cash on hand as of June 30. O’Rourke’s campaign did not release that figure, but it had $6.8 million in the bank as of mid-February.
The candidates are set to formally disclose their latest campaign finances on a report due later Friday to the Texas Ethics Commission. It will cover Feb. 20 through June 30.
O’Rourke’s haul came from over 511,000 contributions, 98.9% of which came in online, according O’Rourke’s campaign. The average donation was $54.
By comparison, Abbott’s campaign said it “nearly” 113,000 contributions. The campaign added that “nearly 86% came from within Texas.”
The most recent fundraising period saw at least two major events that energized Democrats, including the Uvalde school shooting in May and then the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade in June. O’Rourke alluded to those events in a statement touting his fundraising.
“We’re receiving support from people in every part of Texas who want to work together to ensure our state moves beyond Greg Abbott’s extremism and finally leads in great jobs, world class schools, the ability to see a doctor, keeping our kids safe and protecting a woman’s freedom to make her own decisions about her own body, health care and future,” O’Rourke said in a statement.
Apparently, the group that contributed the most among Beto’s contributors was teachers. Can’t imagine why. Abbott is still made of money, and he’s already starting to spend a bunch of it on various forms of advertising. Beto will never have as much money, but he will have enough to be competitive. If you’ve donated to Beto, whether you plan to donate to him again or not, please consider throwing a few bucks to his ticketmates as well – Mike Collier and Rochelle Garza in particular, but any of the others on the statewide ballot will do. We’re going to need every little bit. The Chron has more.