Elections 2022Abbott Flexes $18.9 Million Fundraising Haul, GOP Challengers Raise $5.1 Million, O’Rourke Raises $8.9 Million

The latest fundraising numbers show the fuller picture of Texas' gubernatorial race as each candidate has now filed more complete reports.
January 19, 2022
The race for Texas governor gained another data point this week when candidates reported their most recent fundraising numbers. Governor Greg Abbott added onto his record total from last June, bringing in $18.9 million from July through December of 2021.

Abbott’s war chest now totals $65 million. The donations flowed from 159,000 individual contributions with an average of $119 per donation. More than a quarter of those donations came from first-time contributors, according to the campaign.

“These generous contributions from people all across Texas show just how excited Texans are for this campaign,” Abbott said.

Abbott’s main Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, reported a $7.2 million haul in the 46 days of his campaign. That total came from over 115,600 contributions, which is an average of roughly $62.

“While Abbott is taking million-dollar checks from the CEOs who profited off of the grid collapse, we’re receiving support from people all over Texas who want to ensure that our state finally leads in great jobs, world class schools and the ability to see a doctor,” O’Rourke said.

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In addition to the $7.2 million he announced raising, O’Rourke’s campaign also listed $1.7 million of in-kind contributions from Powered by People, his PAC launched to aid Democrats campaigning in Texas.

O’Rourke raised an astonishing $84 million four years ago in his narrow defeat running statewide against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). But going forward, the stances he took during the abandoned 2020 presidential may inhibit his ability to match that this time around.

Abbott’s Republican challengers each raised substantially less than the incumbent. Huffines reported roughly $3 million raised — bringing his campaign total to $12 million which includes $5 million in self-loans. During this most recent period, none of his money raised came from loans.

Boasting the total that “shatters the fundraising figures of [Abbott’s] previous [GOP] primary opponents combined,” Huffines said, “Grassroots Texans across the state are hungry for leadership and a conservative Republican who will actually secure the Texas Border, stop vaccine mandates, and restore confidence in our elections.”

“We are going to give Greg Abbott the retirement party he deserves and make Texas the lighthouse of liberty once again.”

Huffines raised $4 million in contributions during the first filing period of 2021.

In his first full filing period since jumping in on July 4, former Texas GOP chair Allen West raised a total of $2 million from 13,000 donations. That’s an average of $153 per contribution.

“[West] is clearly the candidate of the grassroots and has received their support across the state,” a release from his campaign says. “Since July 4th, West has driven close to 50,000 miles across Texas. It has been his privilege to meet so many patriots across the state.”

West only has $166,000 of that sum remaining.

BlazeTV host Chad Prather came in with the lowest amount of the top echelon of candidates. He pulled in $108,200 during the filing period, with $20,500 remaining in cash-on-hand.

“We are running a campaign based on groundswell support and grassroots momentum. We are not running against anyone else’s fundraising or their bank accounts,” he told The Texan

“The Prather platform of getting government out of your life and making government small again is demonstrated in everything we do. We don’t owe anyone political favors and continue putting the priorities of people first regardless of their donation amounts.”

Abbott has a clear fundraising advantage both in total funds and the amounts raised in each filing period. The governor has placed an ad buy that began on January 10 and will likely run through the primary. His opponents  — the first serious batch of Abbott’s political career — hope to do more with less as they aim to force a runoff and O’Rourke tries to play catchup.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.