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Beto O’Rourke outperformed Governor Greg Abbott for the third straight time in October, according to campaign finance reports released Tuesday.
These were the last major deposits due before the November 8 election, and they showed O’Rourke carried $10.5 million from September 30 to October 29. Abbott received $8.8 million in contributions during the month-long period.
Both candidates have spent more than $20 million and were on track to deplete their war chests by the end of October, with O’Rourke revealing $4.3 million in cash and Abbott revealing $3.7 million.
While O’Rourke continues to trail Abbott in the polls, fundraising has been a key bright spot for his campaign. It has now outperformed Abbott on campaign finance filings dating back to February and erased Abbott’s once-discouraging free cash advantage.
O’Rourke’s campaign said his most recent haul showed momentum in the final days of the race, noting he “lifted more per day during this [reporting] period that he only raised during the last. Abbott’s campaign expressed confidence that she had enough money to win.
“With the end of this campaign in sight, we have the resources we need to show Texans the stark contrast between” the two candidates, Abbott’s campaign chairman Gardner Pate said in a statement Tuesday.
O’Rourke far exceeded Abbott in the number of donations he received during the period, about 237,000 compared to Abbott’s 29,000. O’Rourke’s average donation size was $44, while Abbott’s was $302.
The largest donations Abbott collected were $500,000 each from Plano investment adviser Ken Fisher, Midland oil magnate Javaid Anwar and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. O’Rourke’s largest checks were $250,000 from Austin doctor Carolyn Oliver and $100,000 from the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.
O’Rourke got a third of his funds raised outside of Texas, while that figure was 15% for Abbott. As for the share of out-of-state donors, Abbott was 43% and O’Rourke was 46%.
In other statewide races, Attorney General Ken Paxton raised eyebrows as he submitted a report claiming he had raised $2.4 million but did not include any donor names. The report says “totals are estimated and will be detailed,” but did not provide a timeline. Paxton has a history of submitting late and incomplete reports.
Paxton’s Democratic opponent, Rochelle Garza, brought in $1.1 million in fundraising.
And in the open race for land commissioner, Democratic candidate Jay Kleberg reported a $250,000 donation from HEB CEO Charles Butt, representing 40% of his loot and allowing Kleberg to narrowly surpass her Republican rival Dawn Buckingham. Butt recently endorsed Kleberg, an environmental scion of the King Ranch family, saying he was “a natural for the job.”
Disclosure: HEB financially supported The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the journalism of the Tribune. Find a full list here.