By PAUL J. WEBER
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas governor’s race on Tuesday surpassed $100 million in total money raised this year by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke with still weeks to go in one of the most expensive contests of November’s midterm elections.
The latest figures pave the way for a blitz of spending on television and organizing in Texas, where early voting begins Oct. 24 and O’Rourke is trying to become the first Democrat in nearly 30 years to win statewide office in America’s biggest red state.
Big spending is also happening in Georgia, where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Democratic challenger Stacy Abrams have collected more than $145 million combined.
The money race in Texas has been a near draw: O’Rourke, a former El Paso congressman and 2020 presidential candidate, has pulled in more than $57 million since the beginning of the year, according to new numbers released by his campaign ahead of a disclosure deadline.
Abbott did not release exact figures Tuesday. His campaign indicated it had also surpassed $50 million raised since January, saying it has raised “nearly $25 million” during the most recent three-month fundraising period, which would mean O’Rouke has continued to narrowly outraise the two-term governor.
Texas has no limits on campaign contributions.
Neither campaign said how much money it had left to spend over the final weeks of the race. O’Rourke said the latest contributions since July came from nearly 475,000 donors, which is roughly 10 times as many donors as Abbott’s campaign reported over the same period.