Beto O’Rourke fundraising, campaign officials announced Monday

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Beto O’Rourke fundraising, campaign officials announced Monday.

U.S. presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke raised a record breaking $6.1 million in 24 hours since announcing he is seeking the highest U.S. office, campaign officials announced Monday.

But O’Rourke will have to continue his fundraising prowess to be considered a serious contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston.

“This is a very important number for Beto” because of his limited political resume, Jones said.

“One of his calling cards” was his ability to raise more than $80 million in his close, but unsuccessful bid to unseat Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in last November’s general election, Jones said.

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“This was his first test, and he passed it with flying colors,” Jones said.

O’Rourke, who announced he was seeking the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination March 14, raised $6,136,793 in the first 24 hours of his campaign, O’Rourke campaign officials reported.

The money raised so far has come “from every state and territory in the nation,” according to campaign officials. The total number of individuals that contributed in the 24-hour period has not been released.

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It’s important for O’Rourke to be above the large field of Democratic contenders, Jones said, including Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who raised $5.9 million in a day after announcing on Feb. 19 his second attempt at getting the Democratic presidential nomination.

“In just 24 hours, Americans across this country came together to prove that it is possible to run a true grassroots campaign for president — a campaign by all of us for all of us that answers not to the PACs, corporations and special interests but to the people,” O’Rourke said in a statement.

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Jones said O’Rourke can’t rest on his fundraising laurels.

“The challenge is not over for Beto,” Jones said. He has less than two weeks to raise double digits amount of money so that he can be among at least the top three fundraisers among the Democratic contenders, Jones said.

“In mid-April, when the (first-quarter) fundraising totals come out,” no one will pay attention to when campaigns began, Jones said.

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