The 2020 campaign season is already revving up as candidates focus on fundraising to bolster their war chests and their electoral prospects.
Texas’ biggest statewide race pits incumbent Republican Senator John Cornyn against a field of Democrats which includes MJ Hegar — a 2018 congressional candidate who reached national notoriety — and former Houston Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell (who has not yet formally announced).
The latest quarterly report stretches from April 1 through June 30.
Cornyn, who was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and serves as the Majority Whip, has amassed a significant war chest in his 17 years on the job. Cornyn’s campaign announced a whopping $2.5 million haul during this quarter — more than double what Sen. Ted Cruz raised at this stage in the 2017-2018 cycle.
This brings his cash on hand to over $9 million, the campaign said.
The campaign also detailed that 83 percent of donations came from Texas, two-thirds of donors were first-time donors to the campaign, and nine out of ten contributions were under $200.
Campaign manager John Jackson said, “Over the last three months we’ve seen a massive surge in enthusiasm and grassroots support for the campaign.”
“It’s clear folks from all corners of our state don’t want Chuck Schumer’s politics here in Texas,” he added.
Meanwhile, Hegar also had a strong quarter, raising over $1 million since she announced in late April.
Her campaign also boasted over 10,000 donors, 60 percent of which came from Texas.
Of Hegar’s donations, 90 percent were below $100.
Hegar said in the release, “I am proud of the campaign we are building from the ground up and am excited to see so many Texans hopping on board. This is just the start. It is clear that Texans are ready to have someone working for them, not someone bought and paid for by corporate PACs.”
Hegar’s cash on hand sits at $595,433.
Comparatively, Beto O’Rourke raised over $2 million in 2017’s second quarter filing before going on to lose his U.S. Senate bid against Cruz last year.
Other candidates rumored to be weighing a U.S. Senate run against Cornyn are Houston city councilwoman Amanda Edwards and state Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) — who has an undisclosed announcement planned for July 22.
The next report is the October quarterly, which runs from July 1 to September 30.
With the gains made in 2018, Democrats believe there is a window of opportunity to grab the senate seat from Cornyn — who currently has a 44 percent job approval rating among Texas voters.
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Brad Johnson is 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 watching and quoting Monty Python productions.