U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, raised almost twice as much as Democratic challenger Pete Gallego this summer as their showdown in Texas' 23rd congressional district heated up, according to campaign finance reports released Saturday.
Hurd's campaign hauled in roughly $906,000, while Gallego's took in about $474,000, the reports show. They cover the third quarter of this year, from July 1 through Sept. 30, and reflect the most action-packed period yet in Texas' only competitive congressional race.
After spending heavily throughout the summer — both campaigns burned through about 1.7 times what they raised during the period — Hurd was left with a decisive financial advantage heading into the home stretch of the race. He had roughly $1.1 million cash on hand, while Gallego had approximately $431,000 in the bank.
The two campaigns' finances make for only one view into the money flowing into the 23rd district, which sprawls across South and West Texas. Outside groups, including party committees and super PACs, are spending millions of dollars on each side to influence the outcome. Campaign fundraising, though, is of particular importance because candidates are charged less for TV airtime than super PACs, as federal law dictates.
While both campaigns had their biggest hauls yet in the third quarter, the reports show Hurd continuing to lead the money race between the two campaigns. He out-raised Gallego $515,000 to $327,ooo in the second quarter and roughly $511,000 to $312,000 in the first quarter.
In the third quarter, both campaigns reported receiving financial support from prominent members of their party. Hurd appeared to get $2,700 — the maximum amount under federal law — from former President George W. Bush, as well as another $2,700 and $2,000 from GOP megadonors Paul Singer and Joe Ricketts, respectively. Gallego, meanwhile, collected checks from U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston and top Democratic donor Fred Eychaner.
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Additional reporting by Abby Livingston.