AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Democrat Beto O’Rourke said he raised more than $ 2 million on Wednesday after announcing his campaign to become governor of Texas, demonstrating his ability to quickly raise cash after failing after the U.S. Senate and presidential candidacy.
His campaign said the money came from more than 20,000 donations in the first 24 hours, but he did not immediately provide additional information, including the number of large donations or how many came from Texas residents.
But while the numbers showed an early burst of enthusiasm for O’Rourke, the former El Paso congressman still has a long way to go or even approach Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who announced he will own at least $ 55 million in campaign funds this summer. Abbott, who is aiming for a third term, is a prolific fundraiser for all U.S. governors and regularly raises six-figure donations of large funds from Texas leaders.
O’Rourke raised $ 80 million in his 2018 Senate campaign – a record in that office at the time – but his donors are not restricted by federal campaign finance law this time around because there are no restrictions on individual donations in Texas.
O’Rourke launched his campaign on Monday and will spend the first days of the race campaigning on the Texas-Mexico border, where Democrats will be on the defensive after unexpected GOP victories there in 2020.