Iowa’s 2020 Q1 Fundraising Numbers: Who’s On Top

Axne, Hinson, Finkenauer photos by Julie Fleming

By Elizabeth Meyer

April 16, 2020

The final month of the first fundraising quarter of 2020 was dominated by coronavirus news as states, including Iowa, took measures to close businesses, keep children home from school and implement social distancing.

Candidates were off the campaign trail for much of March and have continued virtual campaigning and fundraising in April, so the full financial brunt of the coronavirus pandemic has yet to be felt in campaigns’ coffers.

But with the federal filing deadline passed and the June 2 primary ballot set, Iowans now know the candidates competing for their U.S. Senate seat and in the four congressional districts.

Here’s where things stand after another three months (Jan. 1 to March 31) of fundraising:

U.S. Senate

Democrat Theresa Greenfield broke another fundraising record this quarter, bringing in $2.3 million, the most ever of any U.S. Senate challenger in an election year.

Greenfield, a Des Moines businesswoman, ended the quarter with $3.8 million in cash-on-hand.

Ernst raised about $400,000 more in the three-month period than the top Democratic contender, bringing in $2.7 million. She ended the first quarter of 2020 with $6.5 million in the bank.

Among her campaign contributors this quarter is Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who sold $20 million in stock days after a closed-door Senate briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in January, at a time President Trump was downplaying the severity of the crisis.

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To make it on the general election ballot, Greenfield will need to emerge out of the five-person primary in June.

Eddie Mauro continues to boost his campaign with a combination of personal loans and his own money.

According to Federal Election Commission filings, in Q1 Mauro raised $57,451 from individuals and loaned himself $1.4 million. Also in the report is a $1.6 million loan Mauro repaid himself from a previous quarter.

He closed the quarter with $1 million in cash-on-hand.

Retired Navy Admiral Michael Franken, for the second time since announcing his candidacy last summer, announced a new TV ad today. According to the campaign, the 30-second spot will air April 21 to June 1 in Des Moines, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Dubuque and Quad Cities’ media markets.

Franken raised $245,290 in Q1, including a $50,000 personal loan, and has $225,161 in cash-on-hand.

Kimberly Graham’s campaign rests on small-dollar individual donors, putting her at the bottom of the fundraising totem pole. She raised $92,819 and has $41,907 in cash-on-hand. Though she falls short of her fellow Democrats, Graham’s Q1 haul is by far the largest sum she has raised since joining the race.

Iowa House District 1

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer continues to out-pace her Republican challengers in the Eastern Iowa district, bringing in $778,796. The first-term representative ended the quarter with $2 million in cash-on-hand.

State Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, will face Finkenauer in November barring a dramatic shift in the primary. Hinson raised $551,587 in Q1 compared to Thomas Hansen’s $350. Hinson, who has the support of national Republican groups, ended the quarter with $980,399 in cash-on-hand.

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Iowa House District 2

Former state senator Rita Hart is the lone Democrat seeking to replace retiring Congressman Dave Loebsack.

Hart, who joined Fred Hubbell on the 2018 gubernatorial ticket, raised $364,591 and has $898,581 in cash-on-hand.

On the Republican side, five candidates filed paperwork with the secretary of state to be on the primary ballot, but only two filed Q1 fundraising reports with the FEC.

State Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa is the establishment favorite, earning endorsements from Ernst, Gov. Kim Reynolds and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Miller-Meeks raised $256,374, including a $95,000 personal loan, and has $397,324 in cash-on-hand.

Bobby Schilling, a former Illinois congressman who now lives in Le Claire, raised $18,796 and has $55,008 in cash-on-hand.

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Iowa House District 3

Congresswoman Cindy Axne raised more than twice the money of her likely Republican challenger, former congressman David Young.

Axne, who along with Finkenauer helped flip the House blue in 2018, raised $944,037 compared to Young’s $403,240. She ended the quarter with $2.5 million in the bank in contrast to his $1 million.

Iowa House District 4

For a look at the Western Iowa race, check out our piece on how Congressman Steve King’s fundraising has continued its nose dive.


By Elizabeth Meyer
Posted 4/16/20

Iowa Starting Line is an independently-owned progressive news outlet devoted to providing unique, insightful coverage on Iowa news and politics. We need reader support to continue operating — please donate here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more coverage.



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