Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeSupport for governors sliding in states without vaccine mandates: survey Abbott bans vaccine mandates from any 'entity in Texas' Abbott disapproval rating up 8 points to 59 percent in San Antonio area: poll MORE (D-Texas) has raised more than $70 million in his bid challenging Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE (R-Texas).
The rising Democratic star's latest campaign filing with the Federal Election Commission showed that he raised almost $8.5 million in the first 17 days of October, which brought his net contributions since January 2017 to about $70.3 million.
O'Rourke spent $21 million during the first half of October and still had $10.3 million on hand.
The $70 million he's raised far outpaces the sum Cruz has brought in.
Cruz has raised about $30 million since early 2017, when O'Rourke entered the race, according to Dallas Morning News. The newspaper notes that Cruz has raised about $40.5 million when dating his fundraising back to 2012, which is when he won his seat.
"This is the most expensive Senate race in the country," Cruz said at campaign stop Friday in Nacogdoches, Texas, the newspaper reported. "Congressman O'Rourke is the No. 1 Democratic fundraiser in the country. And tens of millions of dollars are flooding into Texas from liberals across the country."
Cruz added that Senate races are about more than the amount of money a candidate can raise.
O'Rourke has gained considerable attention in his quest to become the first Democrat in three decades to win a U.S. Senate seat in the state of Texas.
But with less than two weeks until the midterm elections, polls have shown Cruz with a solid lead over the three-term congressman.
Given the amount of money O'Rourke's campaign has raised, questions have arose regarding whether he would share any of his funds with other Democratic Senate candidates in competitive races.
O'Rourke said earlier this month that he has no plans of taking that step.
"I'm focused on Texas. Most of our contributions have come from Texas. All of them have come from people. Not a dime from PACs," he said.