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Government Cornyn raises $2.5 million in second quarter, has $9.1 million cash on...

Cornyn raises $2.5 million in second quarter, has $9.1 million cash on hand

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U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, raised over $2.5 million in the second quarter as his reelection war chest topped $9 million, his campaign announced Monday morning. 

National Democrats are targeting Cornyn in 2020, and a likely crowded primary is taking shape to challenge him. His most serious opponent so far, MJ Hegar, took in over $1 million in the second quarter after launching her bid in late April, according to her campaign. She has a little under $600,000 cash on hand. 

Both campaigns detailed their second-quarter fundraising ahead of Monday’s end-of-day deadline to disclose it to the Federal Election Commission. 

Cornyn’s campaign said 83% of its second-quarter donations came from Texas, nearly 9 in 10 contributions were under $200 and just under two-thirds of donors were new. 

“Over the last three months we’ve seen a massive surge in enthusiasm and grassroots support for the campaign,” Cornyn campaign manager John Jackson said in a statement. “It’s clear folks from all corners of our state don’t want [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer’s politics here in Texas.” 

Hegar’s campaign, which previously announced the $1 million figure, also released new details on its second-quarter fundraising Monday. It had over 10,000 donors, almost 6 in 10 contributions were from Texans and 9 out of 10 donations were under $100. 

Hegar’s average online donation was $28, while Cornyn’s average overall contribution was $167.30, their respective campaigns said. 

“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 said in a news release that highlighted her pledge not to accept money from political action committees. 

Hegar, a 2018 U.S. House candidate and former Air Force helicopter pilot, is one of several Democrats already running to take on Cornyn, including Chris Bell, the former Houston congressman and 2006 gubernatorial nominee. State Sen. Royce West of Dallas is expected to join the race soon and has set a July 22 announcement. Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards is also moving toward a run. 

In recent days, another potential candidate has emerged: Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, one of the state’s top organizers of the Latino vote. 

Cornyn’s total raised in the second quarter was $2,522,430, while his cash on hand is $9,070,560, according to figures provided by his campaign. Hegar’s precise haul was $1,026,756, while her cash-on-hand tally is $595,433, her campaign said. Hegar’s figures cover the roughly 10 weeks between when she began her run on April 23 and the end of the second quarter, June 30.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2019/07/15/texas-senate-john-cornyn-mj-hegar-fundraising-2019/.

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