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.
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Despite a 2-0 deficit, there was a pot of gold for Austin FC after all as it celebrated its annual Pride Night with rainbows and a 2-2 comeback draw to FC Dallas Saturday night.
After three FC Dallas losses last season, the Dallas derby draw marks the first time Austin FC has tied against its Copa Texas rival. Austin continues to edge over FC Dallas as it sits at 3rd in the MLS West.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the match:
A somber start
Decked out in colorful hues for LBGTQ+ Pride, Verde fans started the match on a somber note as they held up banners to take a stand against gun violence before the match.
As the national anthem began, fans held up banners with the names of each child that was killed in the Uvalde school shooting and a plea to "end gun violence."
The supporters' section was also dotted with Pride flags and a "Bans off Our Bodies" banner in protest of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
FC Dallas earns a 2-0 lead
That sober tone continued onto the pitch. With midfielder Daniel Pereira's absence due to a red card, the Verde and Black lost two goals to FC Dallas by the 70th minute of play.
FC Dallas played it sneaky for the first half of the match, giving Austin FC plenty of room to hold possession as it waited to strike on a Verde error. That mentality proved dangerous for Austin as Dallas' Paul Arriola took advantage of Brad Stuver's deflection to score the first goal of the night in the 57th minute of play.
Dallas struck once more as Brandon Servant pushed past the Verde line to score the second goal of the match.
Austin FC strikes back
But energy quickly returned to Austin's favor thanks to Designated Player Sebastian Driussi, who scooted past several FC Dallas defenders alongside Moussa Djitte to snag an unlikely first goal for Austin.
A full Verde comeback
Austin's subs proved deadly as momentum returned to the home team toward the end of the match. A well-placed cross from Nick Lima—and a diving header from a fresh-legged Danny Hoesen—helped the team secure the draw with a second Verde goal in the 84th minute of play.
Hoesen, who was Austin's first starting striker last season, has now scored two goals with the team after a yearlong injury stuck him on the bench.
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Hours following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, on Friday, about 1,000 people gathered in Republic Square with signs calling for change.
The rally, organized by the group Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Texas, started at the federal courthouse on Republic Square on Friday at 5 p.m. before the crowd marched to the Texas Capitol. More protests are expected to ensue over the weekend.
People showed up with all types of signs like Mindy Moffa holding up, "Keep your filthy laws off my silky drawers."
Austin joined cities across the country that saw protests for a women's right to an abortion after the ruling.
According to a recent UT poll, 78% of Texas voters support abortion access in most cases.
Sabrina Talghade and Sofia Pellegrini held up signs directed at Texas laws. A Texas trigger law will ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization, starting 30 days after the ruling. When state legislators passed the trigger law last summer, it also passed laws for more protection of firearms, including the right to open carry without a permit.
Lili Enthal of Austin yells as around 1,000 Texans marched to the Texas Capitol.
From the Texas Capitol, Zoe Webb lets her voice be heard against the Supreme Court ruling.
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