Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke told fellow party members on Friday that his coffers are full, giving his campaign a much-needed boost against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
O'Rourke, the keynote speaker at the Texas Democratic Convention in Dallas, said he raised $27.6 million from late February to June 30, much to the delight of delegates.
“Greg Abbott is chaos; he is corruption; he is cruelty, and he is incompetence,” O'Rourke said during the convention.
The convention, which began July 14 in Dallas, will allow delegates across Texas to vote on the party’s platform and elect party leadership. Democratic leaders at the convention focused on their plans of winning more state and national seats by running on progressive ideas. Democrats are also working to keep Latinos in South Texas voting blue.
While O'Rourke’s fund-raising efforts broke a record, Abbott has nearly matched him by hauling in $24.9 million over the same period, according to his campaign.
Abbot had $45.7 million cash on hand as of June 30, while the O'Rourke campaign did not disclose their figure.
O'Rourke opposed what he called “voter suppression legislation” supported by his opponent. He endorsed a policy platform for open borders, pushed expansion of government health care, and championed gun control, abortion rights, and transgender rights for children.
His position on gun control made him the darling of liberals in 2019 during his presidential bid. At the time, O'Rourke said: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
In his speech to delegates, he accused Abbott of turning his back on police officers by allowing Texans to carry guns in the open under Constitutional carry.
“More cops have been gunned down in this state than in any other,” he said.
O'Rourke is now also making the Texas electricity grid a campaign issue. He wants green energy to replace oil and gas in Texas.
During his speech, he blasted Abbot for the Texas electrical grid’s failure during Winter Storm Uri last February. His solution is to connect Texas’ independent grid to the national grid. He wants to transition to high-paying union jobs in green energy and eliminate Texas oil and gas jobs.
However, during the storm, part of the problem was caused by frozen wind turbines, which stopped producing power. Texas gets more than 20 percent of its energy from wind power.
O'Rourke also attacked Abbott on border “stunts,” such as using the state’s national guard to help secure the Texas border. He added that Texas is a state of immigrants who make the state a better place.
Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants have overrun Texas and other border states after Biden eliminated former president Trump’s stay-in-Mexico policy.
Abbott’s campaign literature says his opponent wants to all but eliminate the detention of illegal immigrants and grant citizenship to those illegal immigrants who are already in the country. Republicans speculate that Biden’s open border policy is designed to capture for the Democratic party more immigrant votes, mainly from Hispanics, as the party’s policies more easily award migrants, including those who enter illegally, citizenship.
O'Rourke will be heading out on the campaign trail ahead of the November election. Abbott plans on hounding his opponent with the Beto Truth Response Unit, which was in Dallas during the Democratic Convention.