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Ted Cruz challenger Beto O’Rourke is headed to Silicon Valley to raise cash

Next week’s fundraiser is hosted by a venture capitalist.

Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke speaks.
Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger to Sen. Ted Cruz.
Beto O’Rourke / Twitter

A Texas congressman who is waging a longshot campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz is making his first reported trip to raise money in Silicon Valley, according to an invitation obtained by Recode.

Beto O'Rourke, a liberal Democrat facing off against the runner-up in the 2016 Republican primary, is collecting cash from supporters next Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the home of venture capitalist Irwin Federman in Atherton, Calif. Tickets to the evening event range from $250 to $5,400, the invitation says, and larger donors are promised special access to the congressman at a VIP reception.

O'Rourke is the underdog against Cruz, who remains popular in his home state despite a once-fractious relationship with President Donald Trump, but O'Rourke's campaign has shown signs of strength. O'Rourke surprisingly outraised the incumbent senator in the second quarter of this year, and national Democrats believe he could take advantage of an unstable political landscape in 2018.

Silicon Valley has, of course, long offered a gusher of cash to Democratic candidates. But O'Rourke may be particularly well-positioned to tap its riches, given the frosty relationship between Cruz and the tech industry on issues like immigration.

Federman was once a general partner at U.S. Venture Partners, and now works there as a senior adviser. After making his name as an investor in the semiconductor industry in the 1980s, Federman has proven to be a reliable Democratic donor, giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to party candidates in recent years, according to election disclosures, including $1,000 to O'Rourke in 2015. Federman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The event is not expected to be massive; other hosts include investor Lara Druyan and Tesla co-founder Marc Tarpenning, according to the invitation.

This article originally appeared on

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