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Beto Campaign Raises $6.1 Million on First Day, Beating Dem. Rivals

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D., Texas), former candidate for Senate, speaks to supporters at a campaign rally in Austin, Texas, November 4, 2018. (Mike Segar/REUTERS)

Former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke’s brand new presidential campaign said Monday that it pulled in a hefty $6.1 million during its first 24 hours, besting the first-day totals for every other Democratic presidential candidate.

“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,” the El Paso Democrat said in a statement.

O’Rourke announced his candidacy Thursday, triggering a massive outpouring of online donations from his supporters. He promised on Saturday to eschew lobbyist and PAC money.

“Our campaign will be funded by We the People — that is how we’ll be able to reach and listen to voters in all 50 states. No PACs. No corporations. No lobbyists or special interests. It’ll be ALL people,” read a fundraising email from O’Rourke’s campaign. “If we have a strong showing on our first day, people will see it as a sign that this campaign is off to a good start. That will encourage even more people to join us,” a separate fundraising email read.

Senator Bernie Sanders raised $5.9 million, just under O’Rourke’s figure, during the first day of his 2020 campaign. Other Democratic candidates such as Senators Kamala Harris ($1.5 million) and Amy Klobuchar ($1 million) raised considerably less.

O’Rourke, 46, served three House terms representing his western Texas district before giving incumbent Senator Ted Cruz an unexpectedly tough challenge last fall. He demonstrated his fundraising talent during that race, raising a record $80 million.

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