O'Rourke raises $7M in first weeks of bid for Texas governor

Associated Press

Austin, Texas — Democrat Beto O'Rourke said Tuesday that his campaign for Texas governor raised $7.2 million in the first six weeks of a race that could wind up as one of the nation's most expensive in 2022.

The announcement, made on the deadline in Texas for campaigns to submit their latest finance reports, is an early marker of whether O'Rourke can remain a fundraising powerhouse in his latest comeback after failed bids for the U.S. Senate and president.

Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks during a campaign event in Fort Worth, Texas Friday, Dec. 3, 2021.

The haul is significant by the standards of other Texas Democrats who have run for governor but have failed to succeed for more than 30 years. At the same time, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for years has shown an ability to raise millions of dollars in a matter of days from executives of some of Texas' largest corporations and energy firms.

Abbott, who is running for a third term, has yet to publicly report his latest figures but as of last summer was sitting on more than $55 million.

O'Rourke's announcement included only top-line numbers and not where he pulled in support in the early weeks of his race, or his biggest contributors. The campaign said in a statement that donations came “from every part of Texas" but did not provide a figure of how much came from state residents.

O’Rourke raised $80 million in his 2018 Senate campaign — at the time a record for that office — but his donors will not be confined this time by federal campaign finance laws, since Texas has no limits on individual contributions.