Texas candidates spending big as election day nears

Texas’ top Republican candidates continue to outspend their challengers as the November midterm approaches, but their Democratic opponents also continue to rake in millions in fundraising dollars.

The state’s top officials including Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, all Republicans, are each vying for a third term in office.

Campaign finance reports released Wednesday show that each party nominee is willing to spend in some cases tens of millions of dollars. Abbott spent $52.5 million between July 1 and Sept. 29, diminishing his $62.6 million war chest in early January to $16.35 million by the end of September.

Abbott’s campaign said Tuesday it spent about $30 million in advertising this period, including attacks on his opponent, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, on issues including policing, border security and abortions.

State documents show Abbott raised $24.85 million.

“We’re confident we will have the resources we need to ensure all Texans know Gov. Abbott’s strong record on job creation, supporting our police, and securing the border,” said Gardner Pate, Texans for Greg Abbott Campaign Chairman, in a statement.

O’Rourke reported $31.6 million in expenditures and raised $25.18 million and now has about $16.47 million in cash on hand, slightly more than his challenger who once had the advantage with stocked-up campaign funds.

“We just outraised Greg Abbott — again,” O’Rourke said in a Tweet Tuesday. “Now we’re going to defeat him. That’s how we overcome his extremism and move Texas forward.”

Patrick raised $2.27 million while spending $12.36 million, reports show. His opponent, Mike Collier raised $1.39 million while spending $1.04 million, documents said.

Patrick, who is on a cross-state bus tour making 131 stops, launched a series of ads attacking Collier. Collier has released his own ads claiming that under Patrick, property taxes and crime have risen even as Patrick promised otherwise.

For attorney general, Paxton, who is entangled in a series of legal battles, spent $807,845 while raking in $2.1 million, documents show. This leaves him with about $16.79 million in cash on hand.

He recently attacked his Democratic opponent, Rochelle Garza, on Twitter stating that as a public defender, she worked on behalf of undocumented immigrants, helping them remain in the country during court proceedings.

Top Republican officials have made border security a pillar of their latest campaign, often pinning the rise in undocumented immigrants at the southern border on President Joe Biden and the Democrats.

“Rochelle Garza will have to explain her reckless past and dangerous agenda to Texas voters living through the nightmare created by the unending crisis at our southern border,” Paxon said.

Garza, raised $1.6 million while spending $475,000. This leaves her with about $1.5 million in cash on hand, documents said.

Additionally, Garza’s campaign highlighted that the money it raised came from over 15,000 individual contributions, while Paxton’s came from fewer than 1,000 contributions.

“Our latest fundraising report shows what I’ve been seeing since the start of this campaign – that Texans from every corner of our state are ready to fire criminally-indicted Ken Paxton,” Garza said in a statement. “Texans deserve an attorney general who will fight to protect our rights and our families.”

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