Election 2020

MJ Hegar Nearly Doubles John Cornyn’s 3rd-Quarter Fundraising In U.S. Senate Race, Erasing His Cash-On-Hand Advantage

The Democratic challenger raised $14 million to $7.2 million for the Republican incumbent, and she has $8.5 million cash on hand to his $8 million.

MJ Hegar and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, faced off in a debate last week.

MJ Hegar, the Democrat running against U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, nearly doubled his fundraising over the past three months and has eliminated his long-running cash-on-hand advantage.

That’s according to the third-quarter report that Hegar filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission, as well as figures provided by Cornyn’s campaign.

Hegar, the former Air Force helicopter pilot, raised $14 million from July 1 through Sept. 30, while Cornyn collected $7.2 million. She ended the period with $8.5 million in reserves, while he had $8 million.

Hegar’s campaign had previously announced that she had raised at least $13.5 million in the third quarter and came out of it with over $8 million cash on hand. While Cornyn declined to release release his numbers until Thursday, he had admitted she soundly outraised him for the period and “basically wiped out our cash advantage.”

Throughout most of the race, Cornyn had maintained millions more dollars in the bank than Hegar or any of the other Democrats who had competed for their party’s nomination. He held a wide cash-on-hand lead as recently as the second quarter, ending it with $14.5 million in the bank to less than $1 million for Hegar, who was still trying to win her July primary runoff at that point.

During the most recent quarter, Hegar reported spending $6.4 million. Cornyn’s exact spending figure will not be available until he files his report, which is due by the end of the day.

Hegar’s fundraising momentum is the latest sign of an increasingly competitive race, even as polls continue to give Cornyn single-digit leads. Earlier Thursday, Senate Majority PAC, the chief Democratic super PAC in U.S. Senate contests, announced it was launching an $8.6 million TV ad blitz against Cornyn.

Cornyn’s campaign and a pro-Cornyn super PAC have also gone on the attack against Hegar in recent days. And on Tuesday, the Cook Political Report shifted its rating of the race from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican.”

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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