By Alex Roarty
PoliticsPA Staff Writer
UPDATE: Capitolwire reported Wednesday night that Attorney General Tom Corbett raised $1.77 million thus far in 2010, nearly doubling the amount Onorato raised. The Allegheny County executive also lost the fundraising battle in 2010 to Democratic rival Anthony Hardy Williams, who told the news service he has about $1.7 million on hand at the beginning of April.
Onorato still has about $4 million on hand than the state senator, who has raised eyebrows in recent weeks with endorsements from Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and former lawmaker Connie Williams.
Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, who spoke to PoliticsPA after participating in Wednesday night’s candidates’ forum on reform, said his campaign will reveal its fundraising next week. He had about $200,000 on hand to start the year.
Dan Onorato’s campaign said Wednesday it has roughly $6.7 million on hand after raising nearly $1 million since the start of the year, a total that will likely far exceed his Democratic gubernatorial rivals.
The campaign has raised $9 million total, it said, a sum that includes about $2 million raised during his re-election as Allegheny County chief executive.
“These resources have allowed the campaign to develop an extensive field effort that, combined with our tremendous grassroots support, led to the collection of more than 20,000 signatures, roughly as many as were collected by the other three candidates combined,” said Campaign Manager Kevin Kinross in a statement. “The campaign has also collected more than $900,000 since the beginning of January, and with continued donations from throughout the state, we are confident we will be successful in our campaign to elect Dan Onorato as the next Governor of Pennsylvania.”
Onorato is the favorite in a four-man race for the Democratic nomination, which includes state Senator Anthony Williams, Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel and Auditor General Jack Wagner, primarily because of his fundraising. At the end of last year, he had raised roughly $6 million more than Wagner and Hoeffel combined.
The candidate who might be the best positioned to compete financially with Onorato, in fact, is the race’s late entrant – Williams. Despite only formally declaring in February, the Philadelphia lawmaker has reportedly already raised $2 million on the strength of contributions from school-choice groups, an issue he has made a centerpiece of his campaign.
The county executive’s financial advantage has already allowed him to run the first TV ads of any statewide campaign this year, which he unveiled Tuesday.
But despite his fundraising prowess, Onorato’s cash-on-hand changed only slightly from the start of the year, when he had $6.5 million on hand, indicating he spent about $700,000 during the last three months.