U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, at a town hall meeting at American Legion Post 223 in Killeen on Aug. 22, 2017. O’Rourke is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. | Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune
U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, easily outraised U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz over the last three months in his campaign to unseat the Texas Republican, raking in over $2.4 million to Cruz’s $1.9 million.
Yet Cruz maintains a big cash-on-hand advantage, closing out 2017 with $7.3 million in the bank, his campaign said late Sunday. O’Rourke, who revealed his haul a short time earlier, has $4.6 million to spend, according to his campaign.
Still, O’Rourke’s $2.4 million haul shows his fundraising is gaining steam — it’s his biggest fundraiser quarter since launching his bid in March. O’Rourke said the figure was accompanied by a spike in the number of individual contributions that his campaign received — from almost 33,000 in the third quarter to over 55,000 during the most recent period, he said in an interview.
“The fact it’s the most we’ve raised and that we are adding tens of thousands of more individual contributions shows that the interest in the campaign is only increasing,” O’Rourke said in an interview. “And the fact that most of that is Texans is really, really encouraging.”
Cruz and O’Rourke revealed their fundraising hauls ahead of the Wednesday deadline to disclose them and other figures to the Federal Election Commission. In tabulating his campaign finances, Cruz draws on a number of affiliated groups, while O’Rourke’s number comes from just his re-election campaign.
The Senate race has been a financial fight since the beginning. O’Rourke raked in more than Cruz in the second quarter, while Cruz outraised O’Rourke in the third quarter.
While Cruz has consistently held a lead in cash on hand, O’Rourke has been closing the gap. They are $2.7 million apart after the fourth quarter — compared with $3.5 million after the third quarter and $3.9 million after the second quarter.
Read related Tribune coverage:
- As the high-profile race between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke gains steam, the way the two Texans have approached funding their campaigns could set their race apart nationally. [Full story]
- U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, posted a strong first fundraising quarter as a Senate candidate. [Full story]
- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas raised over $2 million for his re-election campaign and its allied groups in the third quarter, his team announced Wednesday, more than his Democrat U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke who is vying to unseat him. [Full story]
Author: PATRICK SVITEK – The Texas Tribune