MJ Hegar holds $1 million cash advantage over Royce West in Senate Democratic primary runoff

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Royce West and M.J. Hegar (KXAN File and AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Royce West and M.J. Hegar (KXAN File and AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — MJ Hegar, the retired Air Force pilot, holds a $1 million cash-on-hand advantage over state Sen. Royce West with the Democratic primary runoff for U.S. Senate from Texas now underway.

In pre-runoff reports due today, which covers fundraising from April 4 to June 24, Hegar raised $1.7 million with $1.6 million cash-on-hand. West raised $429,691 over the same period and now has $159,623 at his disposal.

“We have built the grassroots operation it is going to take to send John Cornyn packing in November,” Hegar said in a statement.

Hegar and West are campaigning to face Republican Sen. John Cornyn in the general election in November.

Early voting in the Democratic primary election began Monday. The Democratic primary runoff will be held on July 14.

Both Hegar and West described the pre-runoff period as their best fundraising stretches, to date.

West’s campaign alleged that Washington Democrats have had their “thumb on the scale” in the race.

“We definitely feel the urgency of now in this moment, and we remain optimistic,” said Vince Leibowitz, communications director for West’s campaign. “Since MJ Hegar’s Republican ties have fully been revealed, we’ve had some of our best days of online donations in the entire campaign.”

In a recent debate on KVUE in Austin, Hegar acknowledged that she voted for Carly Fiorina in the 2016 presidential primary as a protest to then-candidate Donald Trump. She also said she donated to the campaign of Cornyn after not being able to secure a meeting with the senator.

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