Musings —04.04.2018 09:46 AM—
HOUSTON — Senator Ted Cruz of Texas kicked off his re-election campaign this week with a new Texas-themed slogan and a new video, but something else that was entirely new went largely unspoken — a formidable and well-funded Democratic opponent.
For the first time in Mr. Cruz’s rise to political prominence in Texas, he is facing a serious Democratic challenger, Representative Beto O’Rourke from El Paso, who has stunned political observers by raising more money than any Democrat who has ever run for a Senate seat in Texas.
Mr. O’Rourke, a former punk-rock bassist and El Paso city councilman, has raised $13.2 million in the race so far, and outraised Mr. Cruz in three of four Federal Election Commission reporting periods. (Mr. Cruz has not yet reported his latest fund-raising.) In the first three months of 2018, Mr. O’Rourke raised $6.7 million, more than any other Democratic Senate candidate in the country in that period.