State Senate Fundraising 2013 Winners & Losers

cashPoliticsPA took a look at the recent campaign reports to see who’s starting off 2014 on the right foot – and the wrong one.

Winners:

Mario Scavello (R-Monroe)

Redistricting moved a new district into the Poconos and State Rep. Scavello is an easy favorite. He’s got an enormous bankroll to use against Democratic Northampton County Councilman Scott Parsons. He raised $189,708 last year and has $284,406.32 left on hand for 2014. He’s been preparing a bid for years. He cruised in 2012 and won re-election by 10 points (although he was not heavily targeted).

John Kane (D-Delaware)

His impressive numbers show Dems are dead serious about flipping this seat; he raised more than all but 3 incumbent state senators.

Kane raised $306,375 and has $273,258.37 on hand.

Senate District 26 represents Delaware and Chester Counties. Incumbent Ted Erickson announced his retirement in August, after holding the seat since 2001 when he won in a special election. The district leans Republican, but has been an SDCC target since before Erickson decided to retire. Delaware County Republicans recruited Delaware County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle to run for the open seat, but McGarrigle’s committee did not file until January of this year.

Tim Solobay (D-Washington)

Solobay could face a concerted GOP challenge, although he would be a “reach” target, particularly after last year’s fundraising. To help him keep his seat for a second term, he raised $326,400 last year, spent about $97k and has $376,444 left for 2014.

He represents all of Greene County, most of Washington and some of Beaver after a million dollar, open seat battle in 2010 (he won by 6 points).Solobay has a Republican challenger, Camera Bartolotta. She is an actress, small business owner and former PTA vice president. In her campaign announcement, she highlighted the importance of what her campaign calls “local Western Pennsylvania values.”

Bartolotta raised $253 last year.

The Millionaires Club: Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware)

Three Senators passed the $1 million mark in cash on hand last year: Costa, Scarnati and Pileggi.

Costa is the Minority Leader in the Senate and many people who want to support the Senate Dems give to him to redistribute to his caucus how he sees fit. The same goes for the other two: Scarnati is Senate Pro Tempore, and Pileggi is the Majority Leader. As members of leadership, they disperse their funds to other members of their caucus.

Losers

Greg Lucas (R-Erie)

In the contested SD-50 primary, State Rep. Michele Brooks (R-Crawford) is the favorite of the GOP Senate leadership. To combat that advantage, State Rep. Greg Lucas is going to need serious resources. He raised $9,600 and has $2,200 on hand. His situation shouldn’t have come as a surprise. From the day he announced his candidacy to today, Lucas knew his House seat had been redistricted away and would remain in northwest Pa. for a mere 2 years. That means he knew that an easy, inexpensive re-election bid was out of the question.

Ron Miller (R-York)

In the special election to replace Sen. Waugh, Miller faces a self-funding millionaire in businessman Scott Wagner. While Miller certainly has the support of GOP leadership in Harrisburg, he will need their financial help, too. He raised just $26,000 in 2013 and has $26,000 on hand. Full disclosure: Wagner advertises on PoliticsPA.

*

SD-32 Dems
Rich Kasunic is retiring, but you couldn’t tell it from his campaign finance report. He raised $95,488 in 2013 and has $275,262 on hand. That money would go far in Kasunic’s trending-red district in southwest Pa. – considered a prime pickup opportunity for the GOP this cycle even before he bowed out. Hopefully for Democrats Kasunic is feeling generous to the eventual nominee; the party will be hard pressed to replace those resources otherwise.

Editor’s note: only even-numbered Senate districts are up for a vote in 2014; our list focused on candidates for those seats.

*Senator Aument was initially listed as a “Loser;” however, the wrong finance report was used and he has been removed from that category.

February 27th, 2014 | Posted in Features, Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 6 Comments

6 thoughts on “State Senate Fundraising 2013 Winners & Losers”

  1. Hahahaha Rick that is classic.
    Where has John Kane been for the last two weeks. Is he still running or have the Dem leaders soured on that sweet special interest money which is the only thing he brings to the table? I am an independent who refuses to vote party lines but his candidacy is so dumb for the D’s. No different than the R’s running a voter id type of candidate. Kane is just a special interest candidate. I’m sure his union would never do anything like that kind of stuff in the indictment. NEVER in a million years. Those pickets are just educational. Trying to let the public know of all the dangers of PVC. This whole thing will blow over. Those guys charged won’t co-operate with the feds about co-ordinated activities. Nothing to worry about.

  2. Alex says:

    Some of the totals for receipts and expenses are incorrect. If a Senator filed more than Cycle 7 report, their additional receipts and expenses were not included from the previous reports. Senator Teplitz raised $111,347.63 through all of the cycles in 2013.

  3. Rick says:

    It’s a shame that commenters feel the need to continue unfair stereotypes about unions. The vast majority of Union leaders, including John Kane fight for their members every day against bosses who would force them out on unsafe jobs, try to steal their wages and various other criminal activities, yet you rarely see them arrested or even punished for routinely breaking the law. At the most they get a fine.

    John Kane has every right to run for office in Pa, and should not be slandered or libeled by vile, uninformed accusations.

  4. Waka waka waka says:

    The John Kane fundraising pitch:

    “will you support my fight for the middle class in harrisburg? By the way, nice little shop you got here. Would be a shame if someone were to come by and, say, beat the snot of out you with a baseball bat…anyway, you were saying something about making a generous contribution to my efforts?”

  5. Waka waka waka says:

    Easy for Kane to raise money for a state senate bid if his union goons are allowed to threaten and extort businesses in exchange for protection from iron worker thug squads. Ironworkers, plumbers, carpenters. All the same.

  6. D. Miller says:

    Solobay has raised over 200k since 2010 from the gas industry and related business. He is owned by the Marcellus shale. That’s why he didn’t make a peep when a well caught fire in his district 2 weeks ago.

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