Billionaire mega-donor George Soros donated $1 million to Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke’s campaign.
Soros’ donation contributed to the total $27.6 million in fundraising that O’Rourke mustered in the filing period from late February through June, the most ever raised by a candidate in a single filing period in Texas.
The donation was confirmed last week when the Texas Ethics Commission published O’Rourke’s campaign finance report, which was not available to the public for several days due to upload errors due to the size of the file.
The 91-year-old billionaire donated the $1 million on June 23, just one day before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
After the Court issued its opinion to overturn Roe, Soros criticized the decision, claiming in a tweet that the decision “diminishes human rights.” Soros, a Hungarian-born businessman and philanthropist, has been a prominent supporter of Democratic Party candidates and causes for decades.
O’Rourke’s opponent, two-term Gov. Greg Abbott, raised $24.9 million over the same period.
Abbott holds a sizable cash-on-hand advantage with $45.7 million on hand compared to O’Rourke’s $23.9 million.
Abbott also has more in-state support as nearly 86% of his total contributions for the last filing period came from within Texas. Of O’Rourke’s total, 47.5% of contributions came from out-of-state residents or entities.
Abbott’s campaign quickly seized the opportunity to criticize Soros’ donation to O’Rourke.
“It’s no surprise Beto O’Rourke received a $1 million campaign contribution from billionaire George Soros, liberal Democrats’ favorite check writer, given they both support defunding our police, open borders, and radical energy policies,” Abbott campaign spokesman Mark Miner stated.
O’Rourke also received $1 million apiece from Tench and Simone Coxe, a high-powered Silicon Valley couple who moved to Austin last year. Tench is a former Republican party donor and venture capitalist, while Simone co-founded the public relations firm Blanc & Otus.
Still, the campaign finance report shows the majority of O’Rourke’s donations are small. His campaign touted that the most common occupation among his contributors is teacher.
The average donation to O’Rourke from his 511,000 contributors between February 20 and June 30 was $54. The average contribution of Abbott’s nearly 113,000 donors was $220.
O’Rourke received seven donations of $100,000 or more, while more than half of Abbott’s $25 million fundraising haul came from his 62 top donors, who each gave $100,000 or more.
Dallas telecom billionaire Kenny Troutt, California real estate billionaire Edward Roski Jr., Houston road contractor James “Doug” Pitcock Jr., and Houston Rockets owner and restaurateur Tilman Fertitta all contributed $500,000 apiece to Abbott.
The top contributor to Abbott’s campaign has been Midland oilman S. Javaid Anwar, who gave the governor’s campaign nearly $870,000 since February and who Abbott appointed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board back in 2015.
Polls in the race have consistently shown Abbott holding a mid to high single-digit lead over O’Rourke. A Hobby School of Public Affairs poll earlier this month showed Abbott with a five-point lead over O’Rourke.
However, 5% of people who indicated they would vote for Abbott in the poll and 8% that indicated they would vote for O’Rourke stated that they could still change their mind before November.
Both candidates are taking full advantage of Texas’ campaign finance laws that put no limit on contributions from a single person. Federal candidates running for Congress and the White House have different campaign finance rules prohibiting individuals from donating more than $2,900 per election to a single candidate.