Texas Democrat Leads Fundraising for Senate Candidates

(CN) – Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke raised $38.1 million in the third round of fundraising, more than tripling U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s haul in a Senate race considered to be one of the hottest midterm contests in the nation.

This combination of Sept. 21, 2018, file photos show Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, left, and Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, right, during their first Senate debate in Dallas. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool, File)

O’Rourke’s latest record-shattering fundraising quarter is the largest for a U.S. Senate race, his campaign announced Friday, outpacing the $12 million brought in by Cruz in the same 90-day period.

The El Paso congressman, who now has a massive campaign war chest of just over $60 million, has outraised Cruz in the last six campaign finance reports. Last quarter, O’Rourke racked in $10.4 million from Texas Democrats and nationwide donors.

In just six years in the Senate, Cruz has gone from Tea Party darling, to almost leader of the Republican Party, to fending for his seat in the most unpredictable fight of his political life.

But O’Rourke, who at one point not too long ago struggled to gain name recognition even among Texas Democrats, has been bolstered by impressive fundraising cycles and what he calls a “people-powered campaign” that rejects big dollar contributions from political action committees and corporations.

“The people of Texas in all 254 counties are proving that when we reject PACs and come together not as Republicans or Democrats but as Texans and Americans, there’s no stopping us,O’Rourke said in a statement Friday. “This is a historic campaign of people: all people, all the time, everywhere, every single day – that’s how we’re going to win this election and do something incredible for Texas and our country at this critical moment.”

With just 25 days before Election Day, the Cruz-O’Rourke match-up remains the nation’s most expensive Senate battle in what has become an astonishingly close horse race. Recent polling has shown a single-digit election that is often within the margin of error.

Cruz and O’Rourke will debate for a second time in San Antonio on Oct. 16.

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