Cruz, O’Rourke raised $115M

Demo­crat took in $80M to spend in costli­est Se­nate race For­mer pres­i­dent laid to rest on cam­pus where he found in­stant con­nec­tions

San Antonio Express-News - - METRO - By Jeremy Wal­lace jeremy.wal­[email protected] By Al­lie Morris

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Demo­crat Beto O’Rourke com­bined to raise nearly $115 mil­lion for their bat­tle in 2018, oblit­er­at­ing pre­vi­ous cam­paign fundrais­ing records.

O’Rourke took in the bulk of that money, raising just over $80 mil­lion by him­self, ac­cord­ing to new cam­paign fi­nance re­ports made pub­lic by the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion on Fri­day. Cruz mean­while ended up raising just over $34 mil­lion.

The com­bined $114.8 mil­lion is more than had ever been spent on a U.S. Se­nate race be­fore this year. The pre­vi­ous record was $77 mil­lion spent in the Mas­sachusetts U.S. Se­nate race in 2012.

O’Rourke raised the $80 mil­lion with­out the help of po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tees.

Cruz raised more than $1.6 mil­lion from po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tees.

New FEC re­ports show on the day be­fore Elec­tion Day, Cruz re­ceived a $255,000 loan to help fund his cam­paign. The loan came from Gold­man Sachs & Co., a firm where Heidi Cruz is an in­vest­ment man­ager.

O’Rourke more than dou­bling Cruz’s fundrais­ing wasn’t enough to bring him to vic­tory. Cruz de­feated O’Rourke by about 215,000 votes ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial elec­tion re­sults cer­ti­fied this week. It was the clos­est U.S. Se­nate race in Texas since 1978. COL­LEGE STA­TION — For­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush was laid to rest Thurs­day at Texas A&M, a univer­sity he never at­tended, but one he made home in the fi­nal decades of his life. His grave sits be­hind his pres­i­den­tial li­brary, near a pond where he used to fish. And it’s a short walk from his name­sake school of gov­ern­ment and pub­lic ser­vice, where he used to drop into classes, some­times with for­eign dig­ni­taries in tow.

Af­ter se­lect­ing Texas A&M in 1991, Bush and his wife, Bar­bara, set up an apart­ment on cam­pus and be­came a reg­u­lar pres­ence.

“I think the con­nec­tion was al­most in­stant,” said Mark Welsh, dean of the Bush School of Gov­ern­ment and Pub­lic Ser­vice. “He found thou­sands of kin­dred spir­its here in Ag­gieland, and the place em­braced him as much as he em­braced it.”

A Yale grad­u­ate and long­time Hous­ton res­i­dent, Bush had few for­mer con­nec­tions to Texas A&M. Yet be­fore he was even sworn in as the 41st pres­i­dent, Ag­gies be­gan lob­by­ing him to choose the school for his li­brary. A cam­pus street was re­named in Bush’s honor. An alum­nus cir­cu­lated a memo show­ing Bush had won 79 per­cent of the stu­dent body’s vote in the 1988 elec­tion.

Bush called A&M Board of Re­gents Chair­man Ross Mar­graves from Air Force One in 1991 to say he’d cho­sen the school over Yale and Rice Univer­sity.

“Mr. Pres­i­dent: Read my lips,” Mar­graves re­calls say­ing. “You made my day.”

Bush was drawn to its tra­di­tions, mil­i­tarism and em­pha­sis on ser­vice, fac­ulty said. And around cam­pus, he be­came known for his down-to-earth de­meanor. Bush was spot­ted pitch­ing horse­shoes with stu­dents, cheer­ing on the base­ball team from the stands and even do­ing shoul­der presses at the gym.

And for Bush, a ma­jor sell­ing point of Texas A&M was the pub­lic ser­vice school, fac­ulty said. He took pride in the fact that 70 per­cent of grad­u­ates went onto ca­reers in pub­lic ser­vice, like his own that spanned decades from Navy pilot to pres­i­dent.

“He told us many times that maybe his most im­por­tant legacy as a for­mer pres­i­dent was to

have that school, where young men and women could fol­low in his foot­steps and do pub­lic ser­vice,” said James Ol­son, whom Bush re­cruited from the CIA to be­come a pro­fes­sor at the grad­u­ate school.

At the school’s ded­i­ca­tion in 1997, Bush com­pared his ex­cite­ment to the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of “parachut­ing out of a per­fectly good air­plane” (which he did to cel­e­brate the 10th an­niver­sary of the pres­i­den­tial li­brary.)

Bush’s in­flu­ence at the school helped at­tract top speak­ers and tal­ent and he of­ten in­ter­acted with stu­dents, fac­ulty said. The for­mer com­man­der in chief was known to drop in on classes at the Bush School, even play­ing the role of pres­i­dent dur­ing Cab­i­net meet­ing sim­u­la­tions with stu­dents.

Once, Bush took for­mer Soviet leader Mikhail Gor­bachev to a class at the school for an hour­long dis­cus­sion with 30 stu­dents, said Charles Her­mann, the school’s first di­rec­tor.

When Bush learned one year that stu­dents were read­ing to preschool­ers in Bryan for a lit­er­acy pro­ject, he asked to tag along.

“Sure enough, he and Bar­bara Bush jumped in the van and went with the stu­dents,” Her­mann said. “He wanted to pro­mote this idea as ser­vice; he liked that they were do­ing it.”

Un­til his health be­gan to fail, the for­mer pres­i­dent took a photo with each grad­u­at­ing class as they grew from 19 stu­dents to more than 200.

“I’ve heard him say, ‘The Bush Li­brary is a build­ing for his­tory. The Bush School is a build­ing for a fu­ture,’ ” Her­mann said. “To des­ig­nate Col­lege Sta­tion as the burial site, I think that’s a real sig­nal to all of us an on­go­ing com­mit­ment to con­tinue the ideas he rep­re­sented.”

As pol­i­tics grew in­creas­ingly par­ti­san in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Bush reached across the aisle with in­vi­ta­tions to Col­lege Sta­tion. He pre­sented an award in 2003 to Mas­sachusetts U.S. Sen. Ed­ward Kennedy, who’d been crit­i­cal of then-pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush’s ap­proach to Iraq. More re­cently, Bush brought in the four other liv­ing for­mer pres­i­dents for a Hur­ri­cane Har­vey re­lief aid event.

Bush also felt an affin­ity to the school’s ori­gins as a mil­i­tary col­lege. Texas A&M still counts more than 2,400 stu­dents in the Corps of Cadets. Many stood at at­ten­tion along the road Thurs­day as Bush’s cas­ket was driven to the pres­i­den­tial li­brary and his fi­nal rest­ing place.

Many of the cur­rent un­der­grad­u­ates weren’t yet born when Bush was com­man­der in chief. Still, he’s left an im­pres­sion.

On Wed­nes­day, hun­dreds of stu­dents gath­ered on side­walks and the tops of park­ing garages

“She whipped them all, ex­cept for one,” Her­ring said.

Car­ry­ing bat­ter­ing rams, bal­lis­tic shields and as­sault weapons puts a phys­i­cal strain on the squad mem­bers, he said.

“Holly is part of the team that goes in and makes en­try to a lo­ca­tion when­ever it’s needed,” he said. “If she had not done as well as she did (in ap­pli­cant test­ing), she would’ve never worked here. Be­ing the only woman put a mon­key on her back, but she did so well that it re­ally doesn’t mat­ter.”

Viz­car­rando, who joined SAPD when she was 19, said she be­came a po­lice of­fi­cer “be­cause I re­ally wanted to help my com­mu­nity.” to watch the pres­i­den­tial plane car­ry­ing Bush’s cas­ket fly low over cam­pus. Af­ter a mo­ment of si­lence, some stu­dents be­gan to clap.

“He re­ally rep­re­sents what Texas A&M is about in terms of honor, dig­nity and re­spect,” said Blake Johnson, a fresh­man mem­ber of the Corps of Cadets who dressed in the khaki uni­form.

The site of Bush’s grave is be­hind the Ge­orge Bush Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary and Mu­seum, and is ex­pected to open to the pub­lic She de­cided to pur­sue the SWAT team seven years later be­cause “they went above and be­yond,” she said.

“They went into sit­u­a­tions that most peo­ple didn’t want to go into, and it was just a step up from where I was at the time,” Viz­car­rando said. “And I’m guess­ing that’s what’s driv­ing Perla to ex­cel, too.”

While Viz­car­rando cred­ited the peo­ple who saw her po­ten­tial through­out her 28-year ca­reer with SAPD, there were many who were not as ac­cept­ing, she said.

“I was con­stantly hav­ing to prove my­self,” she said. “It was just the ter­ri­tory back then. It on Satur­day.

Shar­lene Dickey and her hus­band loaded their two chil­dren into the car at 5:30 a.m. Fri­day in Hous­ton and set off for Col­lege Sta­tion. Then, in the pour­ing rain, they waited in line for the pres­i­den­tial li­brary to open.

Dickey mo­tioned to her 7-yearold son.

“Since he had 100 ques­tions, I said, ‘Let’s make this trip so I can an­swer them,’ ” she said. was new.”

Viz­car­rando re­called feel­ing like she and her col­leagues were “try­ing to wing it” as they worked to join the team, and she added that “none of us had any­body to guide us.”

That feel­ing has prompted her to reach out to the women now in the depart­ment, whom she calls in­cred­i­ble — “so much more fo­cused, so much more di­rected and driven than I re­mem­ber be­ing” — and she has con­tacted Dominguez to con­grat­u­late her.

The spot­light should re­main on the new of­fi­cer, Viz­car­rando said.

“I just wanted to let her know that I’ve been where she’s at, I know how dif­fi­cult it was to get there and how dif­fi­cult it’s go­ing to be there,” she said.

Friends, col­leagues and those who looked up to Viz­car­rondo re­called her work ethic and ef­fort on the squad.

Both women “de­serve credit for set­ting their goals and and mak­ing it hap­pen, by pour­ing their blood, sweat and tears and hard work into be­com­ing a mem­ber of the elite SAPD SWAT team,” one wrote on the SAPD Face­book page.

An­other, post­ing on Viz­car­rando’s page, re­called watch­ing her beat out men for the spot on the team and said it was an ac­com­plish­ment for any­one to reach.

“You landed on the moon first and we all saw your flag,” he wrote.

Mark Mul­li­gan / Staff pho­tog­ra­pher

A mem­ber of the grounds crew at the Ge­orge Bush Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary in Col­lege Sta­tion closes the gate to the gravesite on Fri­day, the day af­ter Bush was buried on the li­brary’s grounds. The gravesite is ex­pected to be opened to the pub­lic on Satur­day.

Mark Mul­li­gan / Staff pho­tog­ra­pher

The Ur­ba­sics, of Clear Lake, Minn., sign a guest­book at the Ge­orge Bush Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary on Fri­day in Col­lege Sta­tion, where the 41st pres­i­dent made a home in the fi­nal decades of his life.

Bob Owen / Staff file photo

Holly Viz­car­rondo, right, then known as Holly Cheatham, ap­pears with Sonya Dominguez in the 1990s. Viz­car­rondo is the first woman se­lected for the SAPD’s SWAT team.

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