O’Rourke liquidated assets before launching Senate bid

Texas Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke, talks during a visit to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, a possible location for a border wall.
Texas Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke, talks during a visit to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, a possible location for a border wall. AP Photo

Democrat Beto O’Rourke and his wife, Amy O’Rourke, liquidated between $1.25 million and $5.5 million of personal assets shortly before the Congressman launched his Senate bid last year.

The 45-year-old O’Rourke, who is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, this November, reported assets estimated to value between $3.5 million and $16.3 million in the 2017 calendar year, according to his most recent financial disclosure.

Cruz applied for and received an extension on filing that report, which is required of all members of Congress, until August 13.

Cruz’s most recent financial disclosure, covering the 2016 calendar year, showed the senator much less wealthy than his Democratic opponent, with assets ranging between $2.2 million and $5.1 million.

Lawmakers’ exact personal wealth is difficult to track because the disclosure forms only ask them to designate a broad ranges of values for each asset and liability. Numbers in this report are based on a compilation of the highest and lowest of those ranges, complied by the Star-Telegram.

In Cruz’s 2012 Senate bid — against heavily-favored Republican David Dewhurst, then the state’s lieutenant governor—Cruz said he and his wife, Heidi, liquidated their personal savings to fund the campaign.

They also took out loans worth between $750,000 and $1 million from Goldman Sachs, where Heidi Cruz worked and continues to work, and Citibank. He disclosed the bank loans as personal loans in reports at the time. The bank loans became widely known years later when Cruz was running for president.

Cruz’s office did not respond to request for comment for this story.

O’Rourke unseated an incumbent Democratic to win his Congressional seat in 2012, but did not use a significant amount of his own money for that campaign or his two re-election races.

O’Rourke spokesman Chris Evans said Thursday that the Congressman “will not be self-financing his campaign” for Senate.

O’Rourke had about $8 million in his campaign account for that race, as of March 31, to Cruz’s $7.2 million.

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Before entering politics, O’Rourke co-founded a software and technology company, which his wife later operated. On March 31, 2017, the same day Beto O’Rourke launched his Senate campaign last year, Amy O’Rourke sold her stock in the company her husband founded, valued between $250,000 and $500,000.

In February of that year, the couple sold a piece of El Paso real estate valued between $1 million and $5 million, that was jointly owned with Beto O’Rourke’s mother..

Amy O’Rourke, the daughter of an El Paso real estate mogul, has an investment trust worth between $1 million and $5 million, noted in O’Rourke’s financial disclosure. The couple also has ownership interest in a retail rental property valued between $1 million and $5 million.

In O’Rourke’s most recent financial disclosure, the couple’s financial liabilities were valued between $1.3 million and $5.7 million. They had two mortgages for rental property, valued between $1M and $5M, as well as a home mortgage, valued between $250,000 and $500,000.

For the 2016 calendar year, Cruz reported between $2 million and $6.2 million in liabilities. He took on two mortgages that year, worth between $ 1 million and $5 million and $500,000 and $1 million.