Q1: Unopposed Reps. Dent and Murphy Come In Strong
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh) is fond of telling folks that there are two ways to run: hard or unopposed, and this year, he will be running in the latter form.
For 2014, both Dent and Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny) had the luck to stand out as the only two Congressional candidates running unopposed this year. Despite this, both men still tried their hardest during the first quarter to rake in donations.
Incumbent Dent raised $275,771 and spent $165,161. His campaign finances report lists $656,673.58 cash on hand for him.
Murphy, also an incumbent, received $371,343 and spent $91,423. He has $867,610 in cash on hand.
A few notable names make their way onto Dent’s list of contributions. The Koch PAC, of Koch Industries fame, donated $2,000 to Dent’s campaign during the first quarter. Oil and gas giant Halliburton donated another $2,000 through their PAC, and Lockheed Martin PAC also gave $2,000. The Every Republican is Crucial (ERIC) PAC was one of a few organizations that topped the donation list with a $5,000 contribution. ERIC PAC is Eric Cantor’s Leadership PAC.
Dent’s expenses were fairly typical of a Congressional campaign. These included in-kind donations, contributions, printing and mailing.
One of the contributions Dent made went to the National Republican Congressional Committee to the tune of $23,000. He’s listed as having no debts owed.
Dent’s district, PA-15, is rated R+2 on the Cook PVI scale. He’s held the seat since 2005. In the 2012 election, Dent beat Democratic opponent Rick Daugherty with 56.8% to Daugherty’s 43.2%. He also beat well-funded, DCCC-beloved candidate John Callahan by double digits in 2010.
Despite demographics that would make it seem like a toss-up race, Dent makes PA-15 one of the safest seats in the state.
A few of the names from Dent’s list of contributors also pop up on Murphy’s. The Every Republican is Crucial PAC, Eric Cantor’s leadership PAC, donated $10,000 to his campaign. Koch PAC gave $1,000, and the Exelon PAC gave the same during the first quarter.
A huge chunk of what Murphy spent went to Cold Spark Media for consulting, a total of $44,895.89. Other than that, the rest of Murphy’s expenses were typical, including printing, emails and donations. Murphy is listed as having zero debts owed.
Pennsylvania’s 18th District is considerably higher on the Cook PVI scale than Dent’s, coming in at R+10. The rating carries over into the results of the 2012 election. Against Democrat Larry Maggi, Murphy was reelected with 64% of the vote, compared to Laggi’s 36%.