Democratic state auditor candidate Rob Sand will report raising just over $100,000 in the latest July finance report, bringing his total raised for his campaign past the half million dollar mark. State candidates have a July 19 filing deadline for the reporting period that covers May 29 to July 14.
As we’ve seen with Sand’s campaign since the beginning, this will be the best-funded auditor campaign in quite some time. Incumbent Republican Auditor Mary Mosiman raised $178,166 for the entirety of her first election in 2014, $50,000 of which came from the state party. The auditor’s race can often be an after-thought for most voters, but Sand will have more than enough for a major TV ad blitz near the end of the election.
“We have taken $0 in corporate PAC checks and it will continue to be that way throughout the race,” Sand said in a statement while pointing out that Mosiman has gotten$5,620 in corporate PAC checks since mid-last year. “I say this everywhere I go across this state: we need to significantly reduce the role all money has in our political system. That said, the rules are what they are now and I’m proud how many people have invested in our race. it’s truly humbling.”
Sand’s campaign tells Starting Line that they’ve had over 1,500 individual donors since launching the campaign last November, and that 60% of their contributions have been less than $100. They brought in $60,000 over a one-week time span from July 9th to 14th. Mosiman took in just $60,991 in her last report (her current one isn’t up yet). As of the May filings, Sand had $276,136 cash on hand to Mosiman’s $111,232.
The significant advantage that Sand enjoys will certainly be helpful in informing voters about this down-ballot race, but Sand has found plenty of ways to stand out on his own. He’s kept up the pressure in the state press on Mosiman’s auditing decisions; there’s been no shortage of questionable spending at state agencies, so that’s been an endless mine to tap. Sand has held public events in half of Iowa’s 99 counties so far, and he’s gotten a good deal of attention out at local parades with his truck adorned with the heads of deer he’s bow-hunted.
While Mosiman glided through her first election with ease against a poorly-funded Democratic opponent, this election cycle looks to be far more difficult. The rest of the Republican Party will be busy defending higher-profile races. And many in the Democratic Party are particularly enthused about Sand’s candidacy and getting a younger Democrat into a key statewide office.
Every state legislative and statewide candidate should have their fundraising reports out by Thursday of this week.
by Pat Rynard