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Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas Congressman and unsuccessful challenger to Sen. Ted Cruz, said this week he had raised more than $6 million in the single day after announcing his presidential campaign — topping all of his Democratic opponents so far, including Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“In just 24 hours, Americans across this country came together to prove that it is possible to run a true grassroots campaign for president — a campaign by all of us, for all of us, that answers not to the PACs, corporations, and special interests but to the people,” O’Rourke said in a statement, NBC News reports.
His one-day total edged out Sanders’ $5.9 million and far exceeded the $1.5 raised by Sen. Kamala Harris and the approximately $300,000 raised by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, according to political reporter Matt Viser.
The Times reports that until financial disclosure forms are made public next month, campaign finance announcements cannot be verified independently.
The O’Rourke campaign declined to tell the paper how many donors contributed to his $6-million haul or what the average amount was.
However, as the Times notes, the money he’s raised so far suggests O’Rourke retains the network of supporters he built during a long shot campaign against Cruz last year when national headlines were often framed introducing him to the world.
Cruz ultimately beat O’Rourke by about two and a half points — but that was the narrowest margin for a Democratic senate loss in the state in decades.
A three-term representative from El Paso, where he was also a city councilor, O’Rourke captured significant Democratic attention and media coverage with his to-the-people senatorial bid (echoing the same success Sanders saw in 2016, building his profile against Hillary Clinton).
That has not abated: Just before his 2020 announcement last week, Vanity Fair revealed him as their next cover star.
“This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us,” he said in his announcement video, sitting next to wife Amy Hoover Sanders. “The challenges that we face right now, the interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy and our climate have never been greater.”