Iowa Dems’ Fundraising Lead GOP In Every House District

Even though it is now more than a month into the new year, the deadline for candidates to file their fourth quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission was only 10 days ago, allowing the findings to go relatively unnoticed as reporters around the country scrambled to prepare for the Iowa caucuses.

Now that the first-in-the-nation contest is over (for the most part), congressional coverage here is back in full force. Last Thursday, Starting Line provided an updated look at Iowa’s U.S. Senate race where Democrat Theresa Greenfield has positioned herself as the fundraising frontrunner against Republican Sen. Joni Ernst.

To that end, here are the top-line findings from U.S. House candidates’ Q4 (Oct. 1-Dec. 31) FEC filings.

Iowa House District 1

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer likely will meet her former Statehouse colleague Ashley Hinson in the general election, though Thomas Hansen, a small businessman and chair of the Winneshiek County Republicans, also is raising money to become the Republican nominee.

Finkenauer and Hinson, a state representative from Marion, both reported their strongest fundraising totals in Q4. Hinson raised $432,509 as a first-time congressional candidate compared to Finkenauer’s $601,720. Hinson closed the quarter with $734,771 in cash-on-hand compared to Finkenauer’s $1,424,285.

Hansen raised $2,158 and has $1,080 in the bank.

Iowa House District 2

This eastern Iowa district is the only open seat on the state’s congressional map. Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack is retiring, leaving Democrat Rita Hart as the top contender to take his place.

There is a contested primary for the Republicans, however, with state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa and former Illinois congressman Bobby Schilling competing for conservative credentials.

Hart, a former state senator and 2018 running mate in the gubernatorial election, out-raised the field by bringing in $336,483. She ended the quarter with $647,770 in cash-on-hand.

Q4 was Miller-Meeks’ first fundraising quarter in the race. She brought in $259,945 compared to Schilling’s $26,352. Miller-Meeks has $214,744 in cash-on-hand and Schilling has $49,744.

Though she only has served in the Iowa Legislature since 2019, Miller-Meeks has largely consolidated support among top Iowa officials, including Gov. Kim Reynolds, former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Mike Naig, the Iowa secretary of agriculture. Miller-Meeks has run for the Southeast Iowa district three times before.

Republicans Steven Everly of Knoxville and Ricky Lee Phillips of Pella also filed Q4 fundraising reports, but both had raised under $10,000.

Iowa House District 3

Congresswoman Cindy Axne is expected to meet David Young in November for a rematch of the 2018 election. At the time, Axne was a first-time congressional candidate and Young was the two-term incumbent congressman.

Now Axne has the financial advantage in the 3rd District race, out-raising Young $635,560 to $342,492. Like Finkenauer, Axne had her best fundraising quarter of the year between October and January.

She ended Q4 with $1,706,026 in cash-on-hand while Young has $750,679.

Republican William Schafer, an Army veteran from Indianola, raised $1,987 in Q4.

Iowa House District 4

Unlike his fellow Iowa House colleagues who reported their best fundraising hauls in Q4, Republican Rep. Steve King had his worst, raising a meager $43,107. He closed the year with only $32,009 in the bank.

In comparison, his lone Democratic challenger, J.D. Scholten, raised $325,071 and ended the year with $540,078 in cash-on-hand.

King’s nomination is not a sure thing. He will face a multi-candidate primary in June, featuring more than one strong contender.

State Sen. Randy Feenstra once again out-raised his fellow Republicans, bringing in $190,227 and closing out the quarter with $488,551 in cash-on-hand.

Bret Richards, an Army veteran and former businessman from Irwin, raised $70,028, of which $61,900 was a personal loan. He has $100,079 in cash-on-hand.

Jeremy Taylor, a Woodbury County supervisor, raised $29,659. Taylor is in the midst of a local kerfuffle over his legal residence and whether it complies with state law stipulating that an elected member of the board of supervisors must live in the district which they represent. Taylor owns two homes in Woodbury County, one of which is not in the county’s District 2, which he represents.

According to the latest reporting from the Sioux City Journal, Taylor resigned from the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 31 over the county auditor’s decision to cancel Taylor’s voter registration because of questions about his official address.

He told the newspaper he was “looking forward to devoting my energy to [the 4th District] race.”


By Elizabeth Meyer
Posted 2/10/20

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