Sen. Joni Ernst brought in a number of high-dollar donations in the second quarter of fundraising for her re-election campaign, including about $28,000 from pharmaceutical companies.
Ernst, nearing the end of her first six-year term in the Senate, officially launched her re-election campaign last month. And between April 1 and June 30, she collected about $1.1 million, including $385,000 in transfers from various committees supporting her campaign.
An analysis of Federal Election Commission [FEC] Q2 data show about $28,000 of her donations came from pharmaceutical Political Action Committees like Bayer, Novartis and Amgen.
In Q2, Bayer contributed $2,500 to Ernst; Novartis, $1,000; and Amgen, $2,500.
Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, donated $2,500 in June.
In March, Ernst attended a high-dollar fundraising event in Washington, D.C., with supporters in the health care industry.
At the same time her campaign accepts the donations, Iowa’s junior Republican senator says she is in Congress working to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
Last month, Ernst said three bills she co-sponsored on prescription drug pricing passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
“This is an issue that impacts all Iowans, but especially our elderly and hardworking families living on a fixed income,” said Ernst, in a statement. “But there’s good news: in the Senate, we’re taking action. I’m proud to lead on these important bills that will increase competition, drive down drug prices, and close loopholes that allow bad actors to take advantage of the system.”
Bills to lower prescription drug costs have yet to make it to the Senate floor this year.
In total, about 30% of the money Ernst raised in Q2 came from Political Action Committees, ranging from the Fund for America’s Future to the American Bankers Association and Wells Fargo.
In comparison, about 37% of her itemized donations came from Iowa.
Of the candidates running for congressional seats in Iowa this year, Ernst has out-raised everyone.
By Elizabeth Meyer
Photo by Julie Fleming