(Headline USA) Money is pouring fast into the Texas governor’s race headlined by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who both reported massive early fundraising hauls Monday that puts the campaign on an accelerated track to become one of the nation’s most expensive in 2022.
Dark-money Democrats have made flipping the deep-red state among their top priorities, using tactics including open borders and laws promoting vote fraud to bolster their shot at installing the twice-failed former El Paso congressman back in power.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg—who dedicated nearly half a billion dollars to successfully swaying the outcome of the 2020 election—announced recently that he planned to relocate his social-media empire from its headquarters in California’s Silicon Valley to the blue bastion of Austin.
His company joins many others that are fleeing the disasterous consequences of blue-state policies, while likely taking their politics in tow with them.
O’Rourke said he raised $7.2 million in the weeks after entering the race in mid-November—a significant amount by the standards of Texas Democrats, and an early marker of his ability to remain a fundraising powerhouse after failed bids for the U.S. Senate and president.
Abbott said he raised more than double that amount over the final months of 2021 and is now sitting on $65 million, underscoring his status as the nation’s most prolific fundraising governor in history.
Texas has no limits on campaign contributions.
“These generous contributions from people all across Texas show just how excited Texans are for this campaign,” said Abbott
His campaign noted in a statement that roughly one in four of his most recent donors were first-time contributors.
The announcement from both campaigns included only top-line numbers and not where Abbott and O’Rourke pulled in their support, or their biggest contributors. O’Rourke’s campaign said that donations came “from every part of Texas” but did not provide a figure of how much came from state residents.
A full accounting of both campaigns’ contributors should be become public this week.
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 law limits.
Texas’ primary election is March 1, the first in the nation this year. Abbott is seeking a third term and for the first time has drawn several GOP challengers from theright, including former Florida congressman Allen West.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press