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Democratic Hopefuls Unveil Third-Quarter Figures In Race To Take On John Cornyn

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
U.S. Senator John Cornyn speaks to the press at the University of Texas at Austin tower in Austin on June 14, 2019.

Some of the newest entrants in the crowded U.S. Senate Democratic primary are disclosing their first major fundraising figures as the Republican incumbent, John Cornyn, continues to stretch his financial advantage.

The candidates have until the end of Tuesday to report their numbers to the Federal Election Commission for the last three months.

On Tuesday morning, progressive organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez became the latest Democratic candidate to volunteer her third-quarter haul, which totaled $459,000 and covered roughly the first seven weeks of her candidacy. Her campaign said she has since crossed the $500,000 mark.

Last week, another Democrat who entered the race in the third quarter, state Sen. Royce West of Dallas, shared his first fundraising numbers. He raised $545,000 between the late July announcement of his campaign and the end of the quarter, which was Sept. 30. He has $365,000 cash on hand.

And on Monday afternoon, one of the primary contenders who has been in the race the longest, MJ Hegar, announced she took in more than $1 million in the third quarter and has $893,000 saved up. It was her second quarter hauling in over $1 million after she did so between when she launched her bid in late April and the end of June.

Cornyn, however, has towered over all his Democratic challengers who have announced their third-quarter fundraising. He announced last week that he raked in nearly $3.2 million over the last three months, pushing his cash-on-hand total close to $11 million.

With hours until the FEC deadline, it remained to be seen what kind of financial shape others candidate were in after starting their campaigns in the third quarter like Tzintzún Ramirez and West did. They include Houston City Councilman Amanda Edwards and Chris Bell, the former Houston congressman and 2006 nominee for governor.

Some of the candidates previously announced how much they raise in the immediate aftermath of their launches. Tzintzún Ramirez said she received over $200,000 in her first day as a candidate, while Edwards said she netted roughly the same amount in her first 24 hours as well.

A total of 10 Democrats are running to unseat Cornyn. Some had already reported their third-quarter fundraising to the FEC by Tuesday morning, including two who showed close to no activity. Sema Hernandez reported raising $132, while almost all of Adrian Ocegueda's incoming money was $400 in loans to himself.

This story will be updated as more candidates announce their numbers and as the campaign file their reports with the FEC.

The Texas Tribune provided this story.

Patrick Svitek is a reporter for the Texas Tribune. He previously worked for the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau. He graduated in 2014 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He originally is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.