O'Rourke has raised $7.2M since launching campaign for Texas governor

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) pulled in more than $7.2 million for his bid for Texas governor in the month-and-a-half since launching his campaign.

He raised more than a quarter of that money – about $2 million – in the 24-hour period after announcing his plans to seek the Democratic nomination to take on Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in 2022. O’Rourke’s latest fundraising total spans the period from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31.

The 46-day fundraising haul is a record for a Democratic candidate in Texas. No Democratic campaign in the state’s history has raised so much in the opening days of a race, O’Rourke’s team said. 

The money came from more than 115,600 contributions, the campaign said, and 80 percent of the total was raised  from online donations. 

“I’m grateful to everyone who helped us raise more than $7.2 million in the first weeks of our campaign,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “While Abbott is taking million-dollar checks from the CEOs who profited off of the grid collapse, we’re receiving support from people all over Texas who want to ensure that our state finally leads in great jobs, world class schools and the ability to see a doctor.”

O’Rourke has proven himself time and again as one of the Democratic Party’s most prolific fundraisers. He raised more than $80 million over the course of his unsuccessful 2018 campaign to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). 

Of course, O’Rourke will still have to compete against Abbott, who has had more time to raise money and has amassed a staggering war chest of his own. 

Abbott’s campaign announced on Tuesday that it has more than $65 million on hand after pulling in nearly $19 million in the six-month period spanning from July 1 to Dec. 31. The total came from nearly 159,000 contributions with an average donation size of $119, his campaign said.

O’Rourke is the heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination in March. Meanwhile, more than half-a-dozen Republicans have lined up to challenge Abbott in the primary, including former Texas GOP Chair Allen West and former state Sen. Don Huffines. 

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