Des Moines businessman Eddie Mauro is certainly serious about defeating Sen. Joni Ernst.
New FEC campaign finance reports out today show that Mauro has invested another $1 million of his own money into his Senate campaign during the 3rd quarter of the year. That’s on top of the $100,000 he loaned himself earlier this cycle.
Mauro will also end the quarter with $1,071,532 cash on hand, putting him on par with Theresa Greenfield, widely seen as the front-runner in the race. Greenfield’s report wasn’t online yet as of this story’s publishing, but her campaign earlier this month said that she had raised over $1.1 million in the 3rd quarter, and would have about $1.2 million cash on hand.
Joni Ernst is reported to have raised “nearly” $1 million this past quarter, and she’ll have nearly $4 million in the bank moving forward. That would mean that Mauro also out-raised Ernst, albeit largely with his own personal money.
The challenge for Mauro in the months ahead is his grassroots fundraising. He raised only $33,972 from individual donors this quarter. That’s much less than the $104,000 from individuals he brought in from the 2nd quarter.
Mauro, who owns a local insurance company, has not been shy about devoting his own wealth into his runs for public office. In his campaign for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District in 2018, in which he came up short to Cindy Axne, Mauro put $570,000 of his own money into his bid.
That helped put Mauro up on TV in a significant way for his congressional run, and should do so again, even if it’s a statewide run now, so long as he keeps his overhead low in the months to come.
After the Iowa Caucus is over, the June Democratic primary for the Senate will get here faster than many may be ready for. Democratic voters, whose attention has been elsewhere for the caucus, will have to make their decision in the primary in just a few short months. The candidates who can seriously spend on statewide TV will stay in the legitimate competition.
What this will likely mean for the bigger picture is that Greenfield will need to spend a not insignificant amount of her own campaign warchest to get through the primary. She’s already been endorsed the DSCC and many Iowa and national Democratic leaders and organizations, and is seen as the likely nominee to take on Ernst.
Mauro’s campaign in a statement yesterday pointed to their not taking any corporate or leadership PAC money, noting that Greenfield has leadership PAC support.
“We recognize this race is highly contested, and that this will be costly. It is difficult to compete with the power of corporate slush funds, but our message continues to resonate with voters and we are well positioned to take on Joni Ernst,” said Mauro. “However, no candidates should be celebrating this manner of fundraising. Money has corrupted our political system. It is irresponsible for candidates to celebrate, without also talking about how big fundraising is the embodiment of corruption of our democracy.”
Retired admiral Michael Franken and Indianola attorney Kimberly Graham are also running in the Democratic primary.
by Pat Rynard