Greg Abbott’s democratic contender for the race for governor of Texas, Beto O’Rourke, received his largest donation to date: $2 million, given by an Austin couple.
This comes at a time when O’Rourke, announcing the amount raised from fundraising for his campaign, has outraised Abbott. The democrat raised $27 million, his adversary raised $24 million.
The couple, Simone and Tench Coxe, each wrote the candidate’s campaign a check for $1 million earlier this year. They are both philanthropists and have been politically active for years. Tench has supported both parties at different stages of Texan politics.
“We believe that state government is really important and we believe in good governance, and we believe good governance requires some checks and balances on the system,” Simone Coxe mentioned in an interview for The Texas Tribune. “Looking at the way [Texas] is structured in terms of gerrymandering … the only real opportunity to put a check on the state Legislature is through the statewide race, and we think Beto is an extraordinary candidate.”
O’Rourke’s success in hauling $27 million from donations is historic and an important milestone in his political career. Not only did he outraise Abbott, but he has also shown he has powerful allies in the state who believe in him and his message to change the way Texas is being run.
Abbott is no stranger to receiving large amounts of money as donations from public figures, some of who have contributed seven figures at a time. Some of the donors include Dallas pipeline billionaire Kelcy Warren, whose $1 million donation to the governor right after the 2021 power grid failure appeared suspicious to many. Warren has even sued O’Rourke for defamation after he called it bribery.
$2 million is the largest donation Beto has received in his political career, and the Coxes have been a constant donor to his campaign for some time. As soon as he announced his candidacy for governor in November, he received $50,000 from the couple.
Simone and Tench Coxe moved from Palo Alto, California to Austin in January of last year. They have both been involved in public relations in diverse ways.
Simone Coxe has been active in politics, co-founding the public relations firm Blanc & Otus, and serving as CEO for 15 years. She also co-founded CalMatters, a non-partisan non-profit media organization focused on California state politics and government. She has a history of supporting the Democratic party solely.
“We’re pretty middle of the road,” Simone Coxe said. “We’re moderates, and I’m more of a liberal moderate than he is probably. But I think that’s how we would both describe ourselves. We need commonsense solutions.”
The couple agrees with O’Rourke on topics regarding women’s reproductive rights, public education, and the economy. They have faith that if he is elected, he could bring a real change to a traditionally conservative state.