The fight for one of Texas’ two Senate seats is tightening between El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke and incumbent Senator Ted Cruz.
Throughout the campaign, O’Rourke has maintained he will not accept any money from Political Action Committees, and a recent offer by a California billionaire had many wondering if he would stick to his campaign promise. On Wednesday, O’Rourke confirmed he’s sticking to his pledge.
“Thanks, but no thanks,” that’s what O’Rourke is saying to hedge fund manager and California billionaire Tom Steyer. The major Democratic Party donor recently told CNBC he’s thinking about throwing his resources and money behind O’Rourke.
Steyer has an environmental Super PAC called “Next-Gen America” and he says he’s “intrigued” by what’s happening in Texas.
Throughout the campaign, O’Rourke has pledged not to accept any money from any corporate or Super PACs. Nex-Gen is no exception.
“He can still do it. Literally, not only do I not have any control but I’m prohibited by law from coordinating. Having said that, for he and anyone considering doing this, we don’t want that. It’s not the way to run this, and I’m convinced it’s not the way to win,” O’Rourke wrote in a statement to our media partners at the Texas Tribune.
But how difficult is it to win in the state of Texas without money from a PAC? We reached out to UTEP Political Science Professor Charles Boehmer for the answer.
“It’s pretty difficult, especially in a state as large as Texas,” Boehmer explained. “Without the PACs, that means that individual donors have to provide a lot of money.”
Individual donations have been O’Rourke’s bread and butter so far. The Tribune reports O’Rourke raised about $6.7 million dollars from January to March. Meanwhile, Cruz raised $3.2 million.
Boehmer said it’s important to keep in mind that Texas is a very big state.
“If you were running a campaign in Delaware which has a population the size of El Paso, you wouldn’t need as much money,” he said.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram is reporting there’s already a Super PAC raising money to unseat Ted Cruz. The group is called FTC PAC. FTC standing for “Fire Ted Cruz.”