SAN ANTONIO — Rep. Beto O'Rourke announced Monday that he will not share any of his $38.1 million war chest, even though Democratic bosses want the cash for more competitive states.
The Texas Democrat told reporters after a campaign rally that he will not spare any expense in his own race and plans to leave all the money he has raised out on the field ahead of Election Day. He said if people who contributed to him want to do so for another campaign, they should do that. O'Rourke raised an eye-watering $38.1 million from July to September.
"No," O'Rourke told a reporter when asked if he would commit to sharing funds with Senate Democratic candidates who are in closer races. "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."
"Folks contributed to this race because they want us to win this race. If they want to contribute to another campaign, of course they're welcome to do that," O'Rourke said. "No, we're going to spare no expense. We will bear any burden to make sure that we deliver for this state and for this country. That means a victory on the 6th of November."
The New York Times reported that some Democrats are worried that O'Rourke could finish his campaign in three weeks with funds in the bank that could otherwise help more endangered Democrats in states like Missouri, Florida, and Indiana as he falls further behind incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
"I've got to honor the commitment that those who've contributed to this campaign have made to me, and their desire that we use this to win this election," O'Rourke said. "If they want to contribute to someone else, they should do so. If they want to contribute to a campaign that's going to win this historic victory for Texas and the country, then I'm grateful for the contribution and I'm going to make the most of it, so that's what we're focused on."
The news comes a night before O'Rourke is slated to square off against Cruz in their second debate in San Antonio. When asked over the weekend if O'Rourke should fork over any of his campaign funds to Senate Democratic candidates, Cruz said it's up to his opponent.
"It would seem that if the Democratic Party wants to embrace the principles of socialism, they should take the money is campaign has raised and give it to all the campaigns that haven't raised any money — and I wouldn't put it past them," Cruz told reporters after an event outside of Houston Saturday. "I'll let Democratic Party strategists worry about their own party's strategy."
The fundraising haul is the largest in Senate race history, dwarfing the $23 million former GOP Rep. Rick Lazio raised in his 2000 Senate contest in New York against Hillary Clinton.