Follow The Money: GOP Governors Race

All the cycle 1 reports have been turned into the Department of State and the nine candidates vying for the Republican nomination for governor have combined to raise north of $13 million.

There have been small donations under $250 and there have been political action committees that have contributed millions to the cause of their candidate(s).

The funds go to travel, advertising – TV, print and digital – and payments to staff, consultants and campaign finance advisers.

Although there is likely to see more dollars poured into the coffers in the final month, the final totals are unlikely to surpass any Keystone State records. In 2014, Tom Wolf won the Democratic gubernatorial primary that cost $36.6 million. Previously, Bob Casey bested Ed Rendell for the Dem Senate nod in a primary that totaled $30 million.

We dove into the campaign finance reports and, with assistance from SpotlightPA, share the following with you. Candidates are listed by most cash on hand to least.

Bill McSwain

Raised Q1: $1.4 million

  • Gifts Under $50: $26,975.80
  • Gifts Between $50-$250: $22,282.81
  • Gifts from Political Committees: $8,250


Cash On Hand: $1.7 million

Top Donors

  • Walter W. Buckley, Jr. ($1 million), investment fund managing partner
  • Jon Lubert ($125,000), hedge fund manager
  • David E. Barensfeld ($100,000), board chair, Commonwealth Partners

Doug Mastriano

Raised Q1: $372,554

  • Gifts Under $50: $65,674.86
  • Gifts Between $50-$250: $108,474.45
  • Gifts from Political Committees: $0


Cash On Hand: $1.1 million

Top Donors

  • James Martin ($110,000), Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe
  • Clayton Black ($50,000), car dealership owner
  • Steven Latta ($50,000), car dealership owner

Lou Barletta

Raised Q1: $430,745

  • Gifts Under $50: $31,411.83
  • Gifts Between $50-$250: $50,477.35
  • Gifts from Political Committees: $12,451.40


Cash On Hand: $356,291

Top Donors

  • Change PA PAC ($198,000)
  • Norman Arthur Dick ($30,800), kitchen, bathroom products company
  • Restore The Dream PAC ($30,000)
  • Where America Started PAC ($30,000)

Jake Corman

Raised Q1: $589,627

  • Gifts Under $50: $1,396.58
  • Gifts Between $50-$250: $5,229.42
  • Gifts from Political Committees: $116,500


Cash On Hand: $270,846

Top Donors

  • University Housing Company PAC ($500,000)
  • John DiSanto ($100,000)
  • Galen E. Dreibelbis ($100,000), commercial and residential real estate developer
  • Laura M. Pegula ($100,000), energy acquisition company
  • Sandra L. Poole ($100,000), designer, home building company
  • Lance Shaner ($100,000), hotel developer, owner, operator

Charlie Gerow

Raised Q1: $46,907

  • Gifts Under $50: $507
  • Gifts Between $50-$250: $5,100
  • Gifts from Political Committees: $7,000


Cash On Hand: $179,072

Candidate Loans: $85,000

Top Donors

  • American Conservative Union ($100,000)
  • Louis A. Esposito ($25,000)
  • Lisa Smarick ($10,000)

Dave White

Raised Q1: $1.8 million

  • Gifts Under $50: $22,364.21
  • Gifts Between $50-$250: $20,305
  • Gifts from Political Committees: $588,500


Cash On Hand: $171,308

Candidate Loans: $4 million

Top Donors

  • PA Future Fund PAC ($202,000)
  • UA Union Plumbers & Pipefitters Vote! PAC ($200,000)
  • Steamfitters Local Union 420 COPE Fund ($100,000)

Nche Zama

Raised Q1: $35,448

  • Gifts Under $50: $2,031
  • Gifts Between $50-$250: $5,742
  • Gifts from Political Committees: $200


Cash On Hand: $134,455

Candidate Loans: $140,000

Top Donors

  • Robert Kelly ($3,000), realtor
  • Thomas Blair ($2,500)
  • Charles Sine ($2,500), engineer

Joe Gale

Raised Q1: $58,495

  • Gifts Under $50: $7,351
  • Gifts Between $50-$250: $50,419.85
  • Gifts from Political Committees: $669.85


Cash On Hand: $33,132

Candidate Loans: $25,000

Top Donors

  • Jerry Francesco ($5,000), physician
  • Paul Panepinto ($2,000)
  • Stephanie D’Arcangelo ($1,200), nurse

Melissa Hart

Raised Q1: $34,310

  • Gifts Under $50: $910
  • Gifts Between $50-$250: $4,900
  • Gifts from Political Committees: $1,500


Cash On Hand: $7,200

Top Donors

  • Philip English ($5,000), government relations advisor, Arent Fox LLP
  • Patrick Morrisey ($2,500), attorney
  • Charles Leyh ($2,500), CEO, Enterprise Bank

7 Responses

  1. Oy. If Mastriano wins that primary, you know the whole Republican ticket is going down.

  2. Mastriano is all small donations, no PACs, big business or union money. The people are supporting him, not the elitist swamp.

  3. Looks like I’m voting Mastriano even if I have concerns about his electability. Barletta doesn’t have the $. His moment was 2010 and he missed it. White is likely the strongest nominee but is fading down the stretch. McSwain would be another Corbett. No, thank you.

    Steve, we knew each other back in the day. Clean up the comments section.

    1. I am supporting Charlie Gerow because he is the strongest candidate to take on Josh Shapiro.

    2. Sounds like you really hate the constitution and fair elections, and love seditionists who sign up as fake electors in conspiracy to overturn a democratic election.

      1. Remember “the Hamilton Electors”? How about Governor Stacy Abrams?

        Spare the faux outrage.

  4. The open primaries. Sounds good but what is really going to happen? Independent voters can vote in any primary and so can Dems and R’s. So, how does that help a political party promote their candidates? It doesn’t. All that will happen is more pressure to raise more money for in essence two general elections. Look at your donors listed in this clip. One person gave a million. Several gave $100,000. Action Committees gave $200,000 and $500,000. Is this good for democracy? What about the candidates who’s top donations were $2,000 and $5,000–do they have a chance? The direction politics is headed in is the increased pressure to raise more and more $$

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  • When Should The Special Elections For The PA House Be Held?


    • May 16, 2023 (Primary Day) (51%)
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