Former Texas Representative Beto O'Rourke has announced that within the first 24 hours of officially becoming a presidential candidate for 2020, his campaign has raised $6.1 million, outshining all his Democratic rivals' one-day hauls.
According to a report in The Hill, spokespeople for O'Rourke announced on Monday that the campaign took in $6.1 million in online donations within the first 24 hours of O'Rourke's Thursday morning confirmation that he was running for president, a figure that beats even Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' one-day take of $5.9 million. The campaign said that the donations, totaling $6,136,763 came from individuals, not corporations or political action committees, and they claimed they received donations from every U.S. state and territory for the El Paso Democrat.
"In just 24 hours, Americans across this country came together to prove that it is possible to run a true grassroots campaign for president ― a campaign by all of us for all of us that answers not to the PACs, corporations, and special interests but to the people," O'Rourke said in a statement.
O'Rourke, who lost a run for the Senate seat of incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz last November, not only beat out Sen. Sanders' one-day haul, as he also topped Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) who raised $1.5 million her first day, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who raised $1 million in her first 48 hours after announcing, former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper,who also raised $1 million within 48 hours, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who needed 72 hours to raise his first $1 million. Sanders' staff pointed out that while he raised just $5.9 million in his first 24 hours after announcing, within a week that number had ballooned to $10 million.
O'Rourke has already proven himself a fundraising powerhouse, raking in millions in his unsuccessful run for Cruz's Senate seat. For his presidential campaign, O'Rourke has pledged not to accept any funds from lobbyists or PACs, a similar pledge to that made by other Democratic candidates.
It only took one day after O'Rourke announced he was throwing his hat in the presidential ring that he met with controversy over his comments about his wife raising their children "sometimes with my help," remarks that some called sexist and demeaning toward women.
"Not only will I not say that again, but I'll be more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage," O'Rourke said the following day.