How Congressional Primaries Stack Up With New Fundraising Numbers

Federal candidates’ campaign finance reports for 2017’s 4th quarter were due this past week, and they once again give us a sense of where the money aspect of Iowa’s congressional races stand. The dynamics of the 1st District primary largely stays the same, while the numbers cast a slightly new light on the 3rd and 4th District contests.

Starting Line will take a brief look at each district.

1st Congressional District

Abby Finkenauer’s $302,000 haul didn’t just surpass all the Democratic candidates in her race and the other districts – she out-raised every single incumbent member of Congress in Iowa, as well. And more than doubling up on Rod Blum, the incumbent Republican she hopes to take on, is a pretty nice accomplishment. PAC checks started pouring in for Finkenauer this quarter – $90,500 in all – as national Democratic, progressive and women’s groups see her as the likely primary winner and a formidable opponent to Blum. House Democratic leadership contributed to her campaign, too.

This report didn’t change the calculus for the Democratic primary much – Finkenauer is still the clear frontrunner, while Thomas Heckroth has raised enough to run a full and serious campaign that could still surprise if done creatively enough.

Abby Finkenauer

Raised: $302,635
Spent: $92,293
COH: $379,066

Thomas Heckroth

Raised: $112,765
Spent: $28,328
COH: $189,649

George Ramsey

Raised: $20,396
Spent: $11,433
COH: $28,321

Courtney Rowe

Raised: $5,610
Spent: $1,786
COH: $5,333

Rod Blum (incumbent)

Raised: $146,894
Spent: $17,899
COH: $995,274

2nd Congressional District

Not a lot to see here. Dave Loebsack should be fine with a massive war chest ready to use.

Dave Loebsack (incumbent)

Raised: $220,653
Spent: $87,408
COH: $1,624,610

Chris Peters

Raised: $17,129
Spent: $30,428
COH: $13,180

3rd Congressional District

The fundraising report from last quarter showed a strong initial filing from Theresa Greenfield and a surprisingly good total from Eddie Mauro. Many began to see Greenfield as a potential frontrunner and Mauro as a possible dark horse candidate that bared watching.

This quarter muddles the race, with a trio of candidates in the top tier of fundraising power. Mauro bested the field thanks in part to another $100,000 loan from the candidate (he loaned $100,000 in the previous report, as well), while Cindy Axne boosted her fundraising numbers over her previous two reports, bringing her close to Greenfield in cash-on-hand. Greenfield continues to lead in the amount of money raised from individuals, while Axne looks to have the most individual donors, useful as most Democratic-leaning PACs are staying out of this up-in-the-air primary.

All three will have the funds to compete on the airwaves. Mauro will likely have the most, thanks in part to a low burn rate for his campaign infrastructure.

Pete D’Alessandro remains the wild card in this race. His fundraising to this point is not enough to fund a full operation or advertising blitz. But he was recently endorsed by Bernie Sanders – one of just a small handful of congressional candidates the Vermont senator has backed. That could bring in lots of small dollar donations from across the country and visits by Sanders – we’ll have a better sense of that after the next quarter’s report.

Eddie Mauro

Raised: $193,815
Spent: $22,525
COH: $333,188

Theresa Greenfield

Raised: $129,761
Spent: $65,203
COH: $210,709

Cindy Axne

Raised: $107,826
Spent: $48,235
COH: $165,760

Pete D’Alessando

Raised: $35,900
Spent: $34,565
COH: $27,956

Austin Frerick

Raised: $12,615
Spent: $14,035
COH: $3,397

Paul Knupp

Raised: $1,660
Spent: $725
COH: $3,172

Heather Ryan

*Has not reported

David Young (incumbent)

Raised: $204,610
Spent: $51,653
COH: $833,223

4th Congressional District

The race to take on Steve King comes a little more into focus after this quarter.

Activists in the district have been suggesting for months that J.D. Scholten will be the candidate to beat in this Democratic primary, and the fundraising numbers now back that up. Scholten’s $174,000 haul is a huge jump from his previous quarter when he raised just under $40,000 and spent nearly all of it. This time he almost doubled King’s fundraising and far outpaced the rest of the field. It seems he’s fully utilized the online fundraising network he inherited from Kim Weaver, bringing in contributions from all 50 states.

Having funds to advertise before the primary is key here, considering most of the turnout in the 4th District primary will be driven by the gubernatorial race. It’s a spread-out district that makes it tough for candidates to get in front of enough people in-person, so ads online, in the mail and on TV will be critical.

Cyndi Hanson, a Republican looking to primary King, doesn’t seem to be going anywhere right now.

J.D. Scholten

Raised: $174,343
Spent: $48,413
COH: $133,522

John Paschen

Raised: $62,591
Spent: $26,600
COH: $47,886

Leann Jacobsen

Raised: $47,430
Spent: $51,376
COH: $34,256

Steve King (incumbent)

Raised: $87,543
Spent: $94,714
COH: $52,578

Cyndi Hanson

Raised: $5,771
Spent: $1,442
COH: $4,328


Overall Cycle Fundraising

Now that most candidates have been in the race for multiple fundraising quarters, it may be interesting to look at where their total finance numbers for the cycle look like. Here’s how the candidates stand with to-date 2018 cycle fundraising (includes both money from individual donors and candidate loans).

1st District

1st District Raised Spent COH
Blum  1,083,937  136,230  995,274
Finkenauer  610,759  231,693  379,066
Heckroth  246,504  56,854  189,649
Ramsey  46,600  18,278  28,322
Rowe  8,523  3,189  5,334

2nd District

2nd District  Raised  Spent  COH
Loebsack  1,015,167  351,264  1,624,610
Peters  66,313  48,481  25,607

3rd District

3rd District  Raised  Spent  COH
Young  896,871  147,732  833,224
Mauro  376,066  42,878  333,188
Greenfield  328,025  117,315  210,710
Axne  261,280  95,519  165,760
D’Alessandro  84,806  56,849  27,957
Frerick  27,616  24,218  3,398
Knupp  8,118  4,945  3,173
Ryan  505  183  322

4th District

4th District  Raised  Spent  COH
King  244,501  318,525  52,579
Scholten  213,900  80,377  133,523
Jacobsen  102,505  68,248  34,256
Paschen  74,888  27,001  47,887
Hanson  5,711  1,442  4,328


by Pat Rynard
Posted 2/3/18

2 Comments on "How Congressional Primaries Stack Up With New Fundraising Numbers"

  • For Democrats Mauro is the one that impresses me so far. His fund raising totals show it. When I vote in the primary, I like to consider how much a candidate has raised. It shows their strength. He made an impressive showing at one of our Ankeny Area Democrats meetings. He was very good on the stump and answering questions. So far at this stage of the game he has my vote.

    • Remember to subtract $200,000 from what he allegedly has “raised” — that is a loan to self, not a show of support. He falls several spots down the list with that backed out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *