Democrat Beto O’Rourke adds $27M to race for Texas governor


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democrat Beto O’Rourke on Friday reported raising nearly $32 million during the first half of 2022,…

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democrat Beto O’Rourke on Friday reported raising nearly $32 million during the first half of 2022, keeping his challenge against Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on track to be one of the nation’s most expensive races in November’s midterm elections.

Abbott had already been sitting on $50 million as recently as February. His campaign had not yet released its latest fundraising numbers, which were due Friday in Texas.

The money pouring in so far reflects a governor’s race that is on pace to shatter records for spending in Texas and underlines how O’Rourke and Abbott — one a former Democratic presidential candidate and the other a potential GOP contender in 2024 — remain two of the most dominant fundraisers in their parties.

O’Rourke said he raised more than $27 million during the most recent fundraising period between February and June, a span that included the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde and Texas outlawing virtually all abortions after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

O’Rourke sharpened his attacks on Abbott after both events, calling for new firearm restrictions that the two-term governor does not support and reinstating abortion access. Abbott, meanwhile, has kept a heavy focus on expanding his massive security operation on the U.S.-Mexico border as the number of migrants entering the county remains high.

O’Rourke remains an underdog in Texas, where no Democrat has won a statewide race in nearly 30 years. Former President Donald Trump carried Texas by 5.5 points in 2020, and some recent public polling has given Abbott a roughly similar lead.

Texas has no limits on campaign contributions. O’Rourke said he received more than 511,000 contributions but his announcement, which was made ahead of campaign finance filings becoming publicly available, did not break down his largest donors.

In Georgia, another red state that Democrats are aggressively trying to flip, Democrat Stacey Abrams last week reported raising $22 million over the previous two months, far outpacing incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

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