Cruz has $5.2M for reelection bid: report

Cruz has $5.2M for reelection bid: report
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHow to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian energy Cruz calls for 'every penny' of El Chapo's criminal enterprise to be used for Trump's wall after sentencing Conservatives defend Chris Pratt for wearing 'Don't Tread On Me' T-shirt MORE (R-Texas) has $5.2 million in campaign money ahead of a potentially tough 2018 reelection fight, according to a new report.

That total includes $4.8 million in Cruz's Senate reelection account alone, Politico said Monday, with the rest spread among his political action committee and the Ted Cruz Victory Committee.

He's raised about $1.738 million in the first three months of 2017 from roughly 18,000 donors.

“Sen. Cruz’s ongoing fundraising strength is reflective of the effective and principled leadership he has displayed in the U.S. Senate,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told Politico Monday.

The Texas senator has strong national name recognition and ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination last year.

His strong 2017 fundraising start may help him fend off fierce challenges in both a potential Republican primary and a general election next year.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas) is the first Democrat to announce a challenge to Cruz, arguing his state needs a check on the Trump administration.

“We need to meet this fear, this anxiety, this paranoia that’s coming out of the White House … with a strength and confidence that can only come from Texas,” O’Rourke said during a March 31 speech in his hometown of El Paso.

O’Rourke derided Cruz for focusing too much on his White House run last year and also attacked the conservative lawmaker’s role in the 2013 government shutdown.

The Texas Democrat had approximately $400,000 in his House campaign account as 2016 ended.

Cruz may face Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) or another Republican in Texas’s GOP 2018 primary, though McCaul remains undecided.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) is reportedly weighing a bid that may give O’Rourke his own primary challenger in the Senate race.

Democratic Senate candidates in Texas will have little aid from their party’s national apparatus in 2018.

Democrats face a challenging Senate map in 2018, with 10 incumbents facing reelection in states President Trump won last year.