As we inch closer to the end of 2019, campaigns for the U.S. House and Senate are coming into focus.
Since Starting Line last reported on fundraising numbers, more candidates were added to the races against Sen. Joni Ernst and Congressman Steve King, and for an open seat in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.
Here’s where things stand after another three months of fundraising:
For the first time since Democrat Theresa Greenfield entered the U.S. Senate race in June, she surpassed Ernst in fundraising.
Between July 1 and Sept. 30, Greenfield raised $1,113,761 compared to Ernst’s $955,966.
“It’s clear that the momentum and energy is on our side to flip this Senate seat, and I’m so proud of what our grassroots campaign has already been able to accomplish to lay the groundwork to win this race next year,” said Greenfield, in a statement.
According to Greenfield’s campaign, her donations matched what Ernst raised in the second fundraising quarter [April 1 to June 30] and “is more than double what Ernst raised in her first two quarters combined as a Senate candidate in 2013.”
Ernst, however, has had years to build up a war chest for her reelection fight, and is winning the battle of cash-on-hand, with $3,943,730 at the end of the third fundraising quarter, compared to Greenfield’s $1,240,264.
In addition to Greenfield, Des Moines businessman Eddie Mauro, Indianola attorney Kimberly Graham and retired Navy vice admiral Michael Franken also posted Q3 fundraising numbers.
Mauro’s Federal Election Commission report showed he invested $1 million of his personal wealth into his campaign, bringing his Q3 total to $1,033,972. He ended the quarter with $1,071,532 in cash-on-hand.
Now that Greenfield and Mauro have broken the $1 million mark, the fundraising gap is widening between them and the rest of the primary field.
Franken, who announced his candidacy at the end of August, brought in $150,314 and has $107,129 in cash-on-hand. As a first-time candidate, there were questions to whether Franken could raise significant money, and this initial haul is certainly enough to set up a real campaign with staff.
Graham, who relies primarily on small-dollar donors, raised $23,116 and has $20,152 in cash-on-hand.
Iowa House District 1
Freshman Rep. Abby Finkenauer brought in $463,631 in Q3 and ended with $963,099 in cash-on-hand.
Republican state Rep. Ashley Hinson, considered to be Finkenauer’s chief challenger, brought in less money in Q3 than she did in Q2. From July through September, Hinson raised $318,512 compared to earlier in the year when she raised $337,553. She ended Q3 with $497,500 in cash-on-hand.
Thomas Hansen, chairman of the Winneshiek County Republicans, remains in the race but raised only $2,085.
Iowa House District 2
The race for an open seat in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District gained a new Republican candidate on Oct. 1 with the entry of state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa. Because she entered the race after the close of the quarter, she has yet to report any fundraising numbers.
Her Republican primary opponent, Bobby Schilling, however, raised $54,505 and closed Q3 with $49,265 in cash-on-hand. Schilling, who entered the race in July, is a former congressman from Illinois.
Rita Hart, a former state senator from Wheatland, is the lone Democrat in the race. She raised $228,986 and has $413,597 in cash-on-hand. Her fundraising total was down slightly from earlier in the year, but she has nearly doubled her cash-on-hand.
Iowa House District 3
Iowa’s 3rd District has remained stable with the contest’s top two candidates, Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne and Republican David Young.
Axne raised $475,786 in Q3 and has $1,198,084 in cash-on-hand.
Young, a former congressman defeated by Axne in 2018, raised $329,540 and ended the quarter with $564,639 in cash-on-hand.
Young could face a primary challenge in June from William Schafer, an Army veteran. Schafer raised $5,647 and has $2,373 in cash-on-hand.
Iowa House District 4
Democrat J.D. Scholten has fundraising numbers to report for the first time since entering the race in August to unseat GOP Rep. King.
Scholten, of Sioux City, is taking a second swing at King. He narrowly lost to the incumbent in 2018.
After being in the race for only two months of Q3, Scholten raised $409,999 and has $385,937 in cash-on-hand.
King, a nine-term incumbent, raised $62,145, a decrease from Q2 when he raised a meager $91,536. He did, however, dramatically increase his cash-on-hand. Earlier in the year he had $18,365, but ended Q3 with $40,681.
He raised the third-most money in the Republican field.
In addition to King, three other Republicans filed FEC reports this quarter.
State Sen. Randy Feenstra raised $130,307 and has $406,049 in cash-on-hand. In light of continued controversial comments by King and the loss of his House committee assignments, Feenstra has siphoned off a sizable portion of donations from establishment Republicans that have supported King in the past.
Bret Richards, an Army veteran and former businessman from Irwin, remains in the race with $89,399 in cash-on-hand, while Jeremy Taylor, a Woodbury County supervisor, has $46,824.
By Elizabeth Meyer