By Patrick Svitek
MJ Hegar, the Democratic challenger to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, announced Wednesday that she raised over $13.5 million in the third quarter, a massive improvement over her previous hauls.
The $13.5 million is nearly eight times more than what she raised during her previous best quarter. That was $1.7 million in the second quarter of this year.
The fundraising bonanza left Hegar with over $8 million cash on hand at the end of this month, her campaign said. Cornyn, who has had a decisive financial advantage from the start, had $14.5 million in the bank at the end of June.
Still, Hegar's latest fundraising puts her into financial competition with Cornyn in a way she never was before. For over a year, as she fought for her party's nomination to challenge Cornyn, Hegar's cash on hand remained a small fraction of his.
The third quarter saw Hegar win the nomination in a July 14 primary runoff against state Sen. Royce West of Dallas. She raised over $1 million in the week after the runoff victory, according to her campaign.
Cornyn has not released any fundraising numbers for the third quarter, which ends Wednesday. They face an Oct. 15 deadline to disclose their full third-quarter finances to the Federal Election Commission.
While Cornyn has not shared his third-quarter haul yet, Hegar's $13.5 million easily eclipses his previous best quarter this election cycle, which was $3.5 million in the second quarter of this year.
Hegar's third-quarter fundraising also tops the $12 million that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz raised during the same period in 2018 during his blockbuster race against Democrat Beto O'Rourke. O'Rourke raked in a record-breaking $38.1 million that quarter.
Hegar has already been putting the new money to use with a statewide TV ad blitz. Her campaign noted she is airing ads on broadcast in nine of the state's top markets: Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Harlingen, Waco, Tyler and Corpus Christi.
More on the election:
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- 20 candidates will vie for five Austin City Council seats this November ›
- Voters, voting rights groups sue Gov. Greg Abbott over order to close ballot drop-off locations - austonia ›
- Joe Biden endorses Round Rock vet MJ Hegar for U.S. Senate - austonia ›
With a taste of MLS play under their belts, Austin FC is entering the second half of a scoreless inaugural match.
The club has been given some generous breaks from No. 2 LAFC, who had one or both of their star DPs out for the half. While forward Diego Rossi is out for the entire match due to a hamstring injury, Carlos Vela was accidentally pulled too soon on what turned out to be a miscommunication.
"He gave us the sign that he needed to come off," LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said on broadcast. "I can't say more than maybe it's my fault."
The two breaks aside, Austin FC has been holding their own against the match favorites. In the signature style of Head Coach Josh Wolff, the team has been quick and intense, nearly connecting on several fast breaks. ATXFC has also kept about equal possession with LAFC, although their shot attempts haven't been quite as nervewracking as the home team.
LAFC has given goalkeeper Brad Stuver some scares with 11 shot attempts, four of them on goal. By contrast, Austin FC has had five shots on goal.
LA has pulled some dramatics and slowly gained more possession throughout the half, but ATXFC's defense isn't as shaky as it seemed in preseason. Jhohan Romana has pulled his weight in getting the ball out of goal, and defensive midfielder Alex Ring has shown the qualities that make him captain as he leads his teammates through their first ever match.
Will Austin FC win against the odds? It's tough to tell, but Austonia will keep you updated!
It's matchday! Austin FC—Austin's first major league sport team—kicks off its debut season in Los Angeles today after years in the making. We know how much this means to our beloved city and are taking you along with us as we journey to LA!
Austin FC writer Claire Partain and I are excited to bring you game-day coverage straight from the City of Angels. Check back here for updates, and visit our socials: @austonianews for the latest.
5 p.m: Kickoff!
It's finally here! Claire will be updating Austonia's Twitter account live. And we'll post her game recap after the game. Best of luck Verdes!
4:40 p.m: Excitement radiates back home
Watch parties are in plenty supply back home. Austonia's Laura Figi visited Circle Brewing Co. and found a crowd of excited supporters.
4:20 p.m: Austin FC supporters are in the stadium
Although the Banc of California Stadium is hosting the match at limited capacity, we see some green in the stands ahead of kickoff. Just moments away from the Austin FC's debut!
~3:20 p.m: Austin FC's team bus enters the stadium grounds
With a warm welcome from Los Verdes, Austin FC players were welcomed into the Banc of California Stadium.
~1 p.m: Los Verdes in LA
(Rigo Rodriguez/Los Verdes)
Austin FC supporters are making their presence known in LA, including the Los Verdes group.
Los Verdes members started having match-day fun around the area this morning with brunch. We'll be joining them about an hour before the game outside the stadium to share some of their excitement. We'll post immediately to Austonia's Instagram.
11:45 a.m: We landed!
View from hotel room where we're staying; the stadium digital sign can be seen in the right corner. (Sonia Garcia/Austonia)
Switching over to pacific time, we're here and it's almost like no time went by. It's 9:45 a.m. here.
We've been in contact with Los Verdes, an Austin FC supporter group, who is also here in LA counting down to kickoff.
8:20 a.m: LA bound
Like many of you, we've been looking forward to this moment for, let's just say, a very long time. Today, we woke up bright and early, headed to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and hopped on a flight to LA.
A gloomy day in Austin with a very quiet airport, we're headed to sunny skies in California.
As we wait for the game to start at 4:30 p.m., check out Claire's preview of the game with a predicted lineup and timeline of the long journey to get here.