The donation was made to the Beto for Texas PAC. The former presidential and senatorial hopeful is running against the incumbent Governor Greg Abbott, who has a 5-point lead over O’Rourke in recent polls.
Abbott has made national headlines for his stances on immigration and abortion, while O’Rourke is well known for his vacillating rhetoric on gun rights — O’Rourke famously supported gun confiscation in his 2020 presidential run before dialing that stance back in the early days of his gubernatorial race.
However, O’Rourke has pivoted back to his earlier hardline stance in the wake of the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where a lone gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.
The Soros donation was made last month, one day before the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, and was recently disclosed in a filing with the Texas Ethics Commission. A spokesperson for the O’Rourke campaign acknowledged the donation, but said that most of the campaign’s support came from smaller donors.
Soros has an extensive history of donating to progressive political causes, and in the last decade has pumped $40 million into dozens of local district attorney races, resulting in laxer law enforcement in many of America’s major cities.
San Francisco voters recently sacked Soros-backed DA Chesa Boudin after the progressive bastion experienced soaring crime rates. Los Angeles DA George Gascón, another Soros-backed candidate and Boudin’s predecessor in San Francisco, is facing a popular recall effort of his own.
The billionaire investor has involved himself in Texas politics before. Last year, he donated $500,000 to help combat a ballot initiative that would have compelled the city of Austin to hire hundreds of new police officers.