Beto O'Rourke Posts Record-Setting First Quarter With $6.7 Million in Campaign Contributions

Candidate says all donations were from individual donors and not PACs

Democratic U.S. Rep Beto O'Rourke says he raised more than $6.7 million in the first three months of the year in his underdog bid to oust Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

"This shows that the power of people is greater than these 'PACS' or corporations. All those that the junior senator(Ted Cruz) will rely on to fund his campaign. The people of Texas are bigger and stronger than that," said O'Rourke.  

O'Rourke said Tuesday that his record-setting — for Texas — first quarter donations came from more than 141,000 individual contributors and that no money was received from PACs. According to The Dallas Morning News, the contributions showed more raised in a single reporting period for a Texas U.S. Senate contest in the last three decades, if not in history, according to data from the Federal Election Commission. Senate candidates in other states have raised more in similar reporting periods. 

“We’re absolutely running this race the right way – not taking any PAC money, going to every single county and holding town halls across Texas where anyone can ask any question,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “Campaigning in a grassroots fashion while raising more than $6.7 million from 141,000 contributions, we are the story of a campaign powered by people who are standing up to special interests, proving that we are more than a match and making it clear that Texans are willing to do exactly what our state and country need of us at this critical time.”

O'Rourke's campaign did not say how much cash on hand it has.

Cruz hasn't released his latest fundraising figures and has until April 15 to do so. O'Rourke outraised him during last year's second and fourth quarters despite shunning money from outside political groups. Cruz has no such prohibition and has maintained a lead in overall cash on hand.

“It’s clearly a sign of how badly Texans want change and want this country ... on the right course,” O’Rourke said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News.

O'Rourke is a onetime punk rocker who is giving up his El Paso-based House seat for the Senate race. He's promised to visit all of Texas' 254 counties before November's election and, in a news release Tuesday, said he plans to spend the next six days driving 1,500 miles hosting town halls in Waco, Groveton, Houston, San Saba, Brady, Garden City, Midland, Snyder, Dickens, Floydada, Silverton and Lubbock.

A Democrat hasn't won statewide office in Texas since 1994, the nation's longest political losing streak.

O'Rourke, who NBC News reported is still is relatively unknown among voters, trails Cruz by nearly 10 percentage points, according to a January poll by a left-leaning firm.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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