Boulton Raises Half Million+, Unions Pitch In On TV, Digital, Doors

State Senator Nate Boulton will report having raised over a half million dollars for the January 1 to May 14 reporting period, bringing his total raised in the gubernatorial race to $1.6 million, his campaign tells Starting Line. He’ll close out the last two weeks of the primary with over $100,000 cash on hand, which should be enough to compete on TV and finish with a real GOTV effort.

The report will include donations from 1,483 specific individuals, including 778 new donors since their previous filing. They had over 2,700 contributions this period, brining their total number of donations up to 6,500 for the entire campaign.

“We could not be more excited about the broad base of grassroots support that is powering this campaign,” campaign manager Joe O’Hern told Starting Line. “From every corner of the state, folks are stepping up for a new generation of leadership. We are so proud of the campaign that has been built to support Nate and could not be more thankful for the support they have given to Nate and this campaign that is ensuring we have the resources we need to not only compete these last two weeks but win this primary on June 5th.”

For other aspects of the campaign, major labor unions are pitching in. Because Republicans ran the legislative session to May 5th, no PACs could donate money to Boulton’s campaign in time before the election day under the 30-day ban rule for statewide races. That complicated things for both Boulton and Cathy Glasson’s operations, which received significant funding from union PACs before session began this year. So instead, several major unions are running their own independent operations to help Boulton and fill in certain holes that the official campaign can’t get to.

The Building Trades are spending significant money on TV, putting up ads in support of Boulton statewide. That includes the Sioux City and Quad Cities media markets, where Fred Hubbell had previously been the only candidate to advertise in. That has helped keep Boulton’s face on the airwaves after the official campaign went down from TV for the past two weeks, though it still lags Hubbell’s ad buys by a decent margin. At least one of the Building Trades ads largely pulled clips from Boulton’s public videos:

AFSCME has taken the lead on digital ads, making a serious investment in online videos targeted at their members and a broad universe of Democratic-leaning voters. Those ads are ones that AFSCME largely shot themselves, featuring their members explaining why they back Boulton.

Meanwhile, the Steelworkers have launched a large, statewide canvass program to handle field operations and turnout. They’ve been generating early vote numbers for Boulton around the state, and have also been running a big member-to-member labor drive.

Part of Boulton’s chances for the primary will come down to turnout. Labor unions will have to activate their members and turn them out to the polls in much larger numbers than usual for Democratic primaries if they hope to change the dynamics of the race. The end goal still seems to revolve around keeping Hubbell under 35%, in which case the primary goes to the state convention, where Boulton has secured a large number of delegates.

Finance reports are all due to be publicly filed by the end of Monday.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 5/19/18

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