Franken Haul Leads As Minn. Candidates Tally Cash
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Government dysfunction aside, landing or keeping a job in the Washington power structure can be a pricey endeavor.
Candidates for the U.S. House and Senate demonstrated that again Tuesday with fundraising reports showing the collective millions they’ve raised and spent to seek elected office. The reports cover activity from July through September, seed money most will need to remain competitive by the time next fall’s elections roll around.
Here is a peek at the numbers:
Sen. Al Franken now has $3.9 million socked away toward a 2014 re-election bid against a yet-chosen Republican challenger. In the three months the report covers, the first-term Democrat pulled in about $2.1 million.
Among Franken’s announced rivals, businessman Mike McFadden has reported the strongest figures so far. He collected more than $700,000 over the same period and has $1.2 million saved up. Some of that money is accessible only if McFadden secures the GOP nomination in a probable summer primary.
State Sen. Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen reported raising $120,000 in the seven weeks after joining the race, most of which she has in reserve and can use toward a primary.
Also running on the GOP side are state Rep. Jim Abeler of Anoka and St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg. Abeler’s report wasn’t immediately available and Dahlberg entered the race within days of the latest reporting deadline.
The two Republicans in Minnesota’s congressional delegation who plan to seek re-election have amassed large campaign stockpiles.
Rep. Erik Paulsen, a third termer in the 3rd Congressional District, ended September with $1.5 million in the bank. That comes after raising $376,000 from July 1 on. He lacks an announced Democratic opponent.
Rep. John Kline, who went to Washington a decade ago, could be up for a challenge in 2014. His district is one of the rare places represented by a Republican but carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. Kline has more than $1.3 million built up after pulling in $367,000 from July through September.
Former state Rep. Mike Obermueller, a Democrat, is challenging Kline a second time. He has $119,000 in available cash.
In the heavily Republican 6th district, none of the would-be successors to retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann has an overwhelming money advantage.
Former Reps. Phil Krinkie and Tom Emmer, both Republicans, are tightly bunched with $300,000 and $275,000 respectively in their campaign accounts. Krinkie loaned his campaign the bulk of it, while Emmer relied on contributions from supporters.
Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah loaned her campaign $150,000 to finish the quarter with $184,000 at her disposal. A fourth Republican candidate, state Sen. John Pederson, trailed with $40,000 remaining in his account.
No Democrats who have expressed interest in the race have filed campaign reports.
For her part, Bachmann shaved her outstanding presidential race debt to about $14,000 — it once topped $1 million — by shifting more money from the congressional campaign account she won’t need after serving out this term.
The 8th Congressional District in northeastern Minnesota produced one of the nation’s costliest contests in 2012, and there are indications 2014 will be more of the same.
Rep. Rick Nolan, a Democrat, knocked off a one-term GOP incumbent last time. This time, he’s expected to see a stiff challenge from Stewart Mills III, whose family founded the Mills Fleet Farm chain. In Mills’ first report as a candidate, he notched $244,000 in donations and had almost all of it left to spend.
Nolan hadn’t reported his figures as of Tuesday afternoon, but entered July with about $200,000 in hand.
In the neighboring 7th district, which covers most of western Minnesota, 12-term Democratic Rep. Colin Peterson reported having $227,000 to build on. Republicans think they could wrest the seat if Peterson retires, but so far, he has given few signs he’s moving in that direction.
A pair of House Democrats from safely Democratic districts finished September with comparatively small reserves.
Rep. Betty McCollum, who represents St. Paul and its adjoining suburbs, collected just shy of $100,000 in the three-month period. After expenses, she has $89,000 at the ready. Rep. Keith Ellison, the congressman from Minneapolis, scooped up about $309,000 and had $186,000 left after paying his bills.
Likewise, Democratic Rep. Tim Walz of southern Minnesota raised about $176,000 from July on, and now has $235,000 stocked up as he prepares for a re-election campaign. So far, three Republicans are vying for the party nomination to challenge Walz and others are still weighing a bid.
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