by Steve Benen
Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country
* If there were questions about Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D) ability to compete with Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in Texas this year, he’s answering them: the Dallas Morning News reports that the challenger raised “an eye-popping $10.4 million” in the second quarter of 2018. Making it all the more impressive, O’Rourke has “sworn off political action committee support.”
* The Washington Examiner reports that the Congressional Leadership Fund, a leading super PAC backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, raised $51 million over the last three months, all of which will go toward helping Republicans keep their House majority. Most of the haul came from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.
* And as long as we’re on the topic of fundraising, Donald Trump’s re-election campaign sent out a new fundraising pitch, asking donors to contribute in response to progressive calls to eliminate Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
* The National Democratic Redistricting Committee released a new three-minute video yesterday, featuring former President Barack Obama touting the importance of the NDRC’s work.
* In Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race, Republican Scott Wagner is trying to distance himself from the Rev. Hyung Jin Sean Moon after appearing with the controversial pastor this past weekend. Moon’s church is best known for incorporating AR-15 rifles into its services.
* And in New York’s 15th congressional district – at D+44, it is literally the nation’s bluest district – the local Reform Party nominated Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The trouble is, Ocasio-Cortez is already the Democratic nominee in New York’s 14th congressional district. The 15th is currently represented by Rep. Jose Serrano (D), who is expected to win re-election.