State Senator Nate Boulton had a strong fundraising year in 2017 for his gubernatorial campaign, raising just under $1.1 million since his May kick-off, his campaign informs Starting Line. Since the start of the new year and after the 2017 reporting deadline, he’s brought in an additional $200,000.
That fundraising haul was accomplished in part by building up an extensive network of donors throughout Iowa and beyond. Boulton had 2,129 individual donors to his campaign (not including PACs), and that donor base made 3,914 individual contributions during 2017. Many of those came in the form of small dollar amounts – 87% of Boulton’s contributions were under $100.
That could be an important factor in the gubernatorial primary over the next few months, as all candidates – not just legislators – for state offices are barred from accepting donations from PACs while the Legislature is in session. Having a broad, energized donor base that continues to give can help keep a campaign operating during that difficult timeframe (and it’s never certain when the Legislature will adjourn).
“We could not be more proud of the broad coalition of grassroots support that makes up Team Boulton,” campaign manager Joe O’Hern told Starting Line. “Iowans from across the state have been chipping in what they can to support Nate’s campaign because he’s fighting back against the disastrous policies of the Reynolds administration, and has offered a positive vision forward for Iowa focused on the next 20 years instead of short-sighted plans for the next 20 months. There is no doubt that we are putting together the resources we need to win in June and in November, and we are excited to expand the ever-growing support from Iowans in every corner of the state, and continue our campaign’s momentum through 2018.”
Boulton did get his fair share of support from PACs, receiving donations from 50 of them, mostly labor unions. PAC reports that are currently public show AFSCME contributed $100,000 in 2017, along with an additional $100,000 at the start of this year. The Firefighters International Union kicked in $25,000 after the 2017 deadline as well.
Boulton’s campaign noted that while many unions’ international organizations made the contributions, all of that money came from local dues-paying Iowa union members. After gaining prominence during the last legislative session by leading Democrats’ fight against collective bargaining changes, Boulton, a labor rights attorney, has received the endorsements of over 30 unions representing over 100,000 Iowans. Aside from their help with Boulton’s fundraising numbers, that’ll also be useful in driving turnout to the February 5 caucuses.
The candidate himself didn’t loan his campaign any money or make any large personal donation, though he has in-kinded 32,000 miles on his car.
This week, Boulton’s campaign went up with their first TV ad, which follows up on a major digital advertising effort through the end of last year. It appears that Boulton’s ad buy is larger than either Fred Hubbell’s or Cathy Glasson’s current run. This fundraising total should ensure that he’s able to stay on the airwaves, as well as field a strong organizing effort on the ground, for much of the run-up to the June 5 primary. There will likely be five Democratic candidates with enough funds to fully engage on TV.
Boulton’s haul is just a little under Chet Culver’s $1,139,760 total at this point in the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary, though both Hubbell and Glasson will likely show even larger fundraising reports later this week.
Fundraising reports are due to be posted online by this Friday.
by Pat Rynard