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July Quarterly Fundraising Winners & Losers

Money-bagThe finance reports have been filed, posted and picked apart. See who made the list.


Ryan Costello (R-6)

Ryan Costello has big shoes to fill if he wants to replace retiring Rep. Jim Gerlach. In the financial arena at least, so far he has been quite impressive.

The Chester County Commissioner had his best fundraising period to date, pulling in a spectacular $600,174.89. Costello now has over $800,000 cash on hand for the open primary race.

The ability to raise that much cash indicates that Costello has the Republican establishment in PA-6 already behind him. The district, which is competitive but leans towards the GOP, has already seen Democratic nominee Manan Trivedi twice so Costello will need money to build up his name ID. It now appears that will no longer be a problem.

Pat Meehan (R-7)

Unlike his compatriots in PA-6 and PA-8, Meehan’s Southeastern PA seat has not received much attention from political parties or prognosticators. Neither the DCCC or the NRCC have it as a race to watch and none of the major congressional observers believe the seat is in any danger.

Nonetheless, Meehan is still bringing in the cash with a $243,600.39 haul in May and June. More importantly, though, is Meehan’s COH total of $1,775,362 which should prevent PA-7 from becoming a serious contest.

Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8)

Filling out the SEPA trifecta is Rep. Fitzpatrick, who raised $428,563.43. The Congressman had the advantage as he could use May and June exclusively for fundraising while his Democratic opponent, Kevin Strouse, was occupied with winning and recovering from his primary.

Rep. Fitzpatrick has the most cash on hand of any PA member of Congress, a mammoth $1,906,830. Given that PA-8 may be the most contested race in the commonwealth, this both makes sense and shows that the incumbent has done a magnificent job of shoring up resources while waiting for his Democratic challenger.


Mary Ellen Balchunis (D-7)

Elections are a two-way street so there is more to the contest for PA-7 than just Rep. Meehan’s fundraising. On the other side is the lack of any real urgency apparent from Democratic nominee Mary Ellen Balchunis.

Incredibly, the candidate raised just $15,310 this quarter and has only $9,976 COH. Those numbers would be anemic if they came from an incumbent in a safe seat. Coming from a first-time candidate running against an incumbent with $1.7 million in the bank, those results are downright catastrophic.

Erin McClelland (D-12)

Compared to her counterpart listed above, McClelland did phenomenally this quarter with a $78,694.36 haul. Unfortunately for her, however, she is running against Rep. Keith Rothfus who has over $1.2 million cash on hand.

Despite being a freshman in the historically Democratic 12th district, where Rep. Jack Murtha served for decades, Rothfus holds the distinct advantage as over time the makeup of the district has significantly changed. The Cook Political Report, for instance, now rates it a R+9. Therefore, McClelland will have to bring in a lot more cash if she wants to make the 12th district competitive once more.

Note: Because of the previous issuance of pre-primary reports, these quarterly reports range from just May 1 to June 30.

9 Responses

  1. I may not be a Fulbright Scholar in Mass Media and Politics, but I do know this: not raising very much money may not make you a loser, but having to post in the comments section of an obscure politics blog to voice your opinion certainly does.

    Best Regards,

    Simple college graduate

  2. I know that Politics PA has some strong connections to Pat Meehan and doesn’t follow normal journalistic ethics; but as a Fulbright Scholar in Mass Media and Politics and a recipient of a national award for my work on Ethics in Government, I know that it would have been responsible for the reporter to ask me about my numbers. My Mother became very ill at the beginning of the race, was hospitalized and went on to hospice care. Unfortunately, she died during the campaign. I am thankful to have been able to spend as much time with my wonderful Mother as I did. The money that is being spent in campaigns today is obscene! The Senate’s nickname is “The Millionaire’s Club”; now, half of the House is made up of millionaires. It is no wonder that the middle class is disappearing. I have my priorities straight, family and the middle class. Perhaps, the reporter never heard of Prof. Brat in VA who was outspent 20-1. The professor went on to defeat Majority Leader Eric Cantor. What about Sen. Paul Wellstone? He was a Political Scientist, like myself. He went on to win his race, even though he was outspent 7-1. No one would call them losers because they were outspent. If I were to be elected, the people of the 7th District would be the winners.
    Dr. Mary Ellen Balchunis, Congressional Candidate, PA 7

  3. why are the union PACs spending their members’ money on Erin McClelland when her campaign is in debt and cook political report says the district is unwinnable???

  4. Jack Murtha’s district was gerrymandered when he held the seat. It was actually used as a prime example of gerrymandering across the US…

  5. Unfortunately for Mary Ellen Balchunis and Dems in PA7, the largest part of the district is in Delaware County, where the Dem leadership continues to demonstrate its ineffectiveness and inability to implement basic political strategy.

  6. McClelland is actually at $-12k, since she posted $46k COH and $58k in debts (not loans, actual debts, and mostly to her own staff, which is really distasteful, but I gather not paying staff is par for the course with her). There’s also what looks like some corporate money in there that will have to go back. We’ve all come to expect terrible reports from her, but this one is breathtakingly awful.

    Add this to the facts that apparently the FEC is investigating her AGAIN all I hear about when people bring her up is that she’s drunk at events, and you have exactly what PoliticsPA says: a loser.

  7. The “historically Democratic 12th District” of Jack Murtha is simply that – HISTORY! That district has been so gerrymandered to the Republicans favor that if he were still alive, Jack wouldn’t be able to recognize it.

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