Halfway through his first term as governor, Greg Abbott is continuing to build a massive campaign war chest, positioning him well for an anticipated 2018 re-election campaign.
Abbott has $34.4 million in the bank after raising $9 million in the second half of last year, according to his team. That is his biggest six-month fundraising haul since he took office two years ago.
"With new supporters joining our movement every day, I will continue the fight to expand the values that have made our state the greatest beacon of freedom in the country, creating an even brighter future for all," Abbott said in a statement.
Abbott has not formally announced he will run for a second term, though he is widely expected to do so. On Monday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made his re-election campaign official and endorsed Abbott for another term.
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Elected officials like Abbott are not required to report fundraising figures to the Texas Ethics Commission until Tuesday, but some are already announcing their numbers for the period from July 1 to Dec. 31. Patrick said he raised almost $5 million and has over $13.6 million cash on hand, while Attorney General Ken Paxton’s team said he took in more than $1.8 million and has $4.6 million in the bank.
- Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz met Sunday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen amid new tensions with China over the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, a country the United States hasn't officially recognized since 1979.
- Last month, Abbott made clear he was adopting a wait-and-see approach about anticipated legislation that would prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.