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MJ Hegar raises $1.7 million in second quarter of Democratic U.S. Senate race

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MJ Hegar is facing state Sen. Royce West of Dallas in the Democratic runoff for U.S. Senate. John Jordan/The Texas Tribune

MJ Hegar raised over $1.7 million in the second quarter of 2020, her campaign announced Thursday, unveiling a haul that marks her best three-month period yet while seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Hegar's campaign said she had $1.6 million cash on hand as of June 24, the last day covered by her latest campaign finance report, which is due to the Federal Election Commission by the end of Thursday.

Hegar, the former Air Force helicopter pilot backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, faces state Sen. Royce West of Dallas in the July 14 primary runoff to take on Cornyn. West's campaign has not released his most recent fundraising numbers ahead of the end-of-day deadline.

Hegar's previous best quarter was the prior one, when she raised $1.6 million. She has easily been Democrats' top fundraiser since the primary began.

While West's second-quarter figures were not immediately available, Hegar had a major cash-on-hand advantage over him after the first quarter, $1.1 million to $121,000.

Cornyn has stayed far ahead of his Democratic competition, with $12.9 million saved up by the end of March. Cornyn is not in a runoff — he easily won his March primary — so he does not have to disclose his campaign finances again until July 15. That report will cover the full second quarter.

Hegar and West, meanwhile, have to file a pre-runoff report later Thursday with the FEC that covers April 1 through June 24, a period that is just six days short of the full quarter.

Announcing her second-quarter haul, Hegar said in a statement she has has "built the grassroots operation it is going to take to send John Cornyn packing in November."

Her campaign said over 56,000 people have now given to the campaign, the average online donation is $23, 9 out of 10 donations are under $100 and a majority of donations are from Texas.