By Ali Carey, Contributing Writer
The countdown begins. There are only eight days left before the elections in Allegheny, Bucks and Montgomery counties and PoliticsPA gives you this look at the fundraising in PA’s top three local races.
In Allegheny County, Republican executive candidate Raja reported putting $1.3 million of his personal money into his campaign, allowing him to spend $1.03 million on the race. This is almost double the $650,000 spent by his Democratic opponent Rich Fitzgerald.
Despite significantly outspending Fitzgerald, according to the Post-Gazette’s Early Returns Raja is now down to only $96,000 compared to Fitzgerald’s $450,000. Raja will likely need to loan his campaign even more money. Of the $1.1 million Raja reported raising so far, $986,000 came from Raja’s personal funds.
Early Returns also reported that Raja received $25,000 from PACs, $5,000 of which came from Advanced Image executive Guarang Gosai, $2,500 from Squirrel Hill’s Beverely Manne and $2,000 from Giant Eagle executive David Shapira. Raja’s organization has spent $631,000 on advertising.
In Bucks County, Diane Marseglia and Det Ansinn out-raised their Republican opponents between June 7th, 2011 and October 24th according to a press release from the Democratic commissioner candidates. The campaign reported $360,430 raised, compared to he $182,775 brought in by Republican incumbents Charley Martin and Rob Loughery.
Update: Loughery said that the campaign’s fundraising, in conjunction with the Bucks Republican Committee, is $412,000. The Bucks GOP is working closely with the commissioner candidates and raised about $230,000.
“Our fundraising numbers clearly show that momentum is on our side in this race,” Eric Nagy, campaign manager for Marseglia and Ansinn said in a press release. “While more than 1000 individuals have donated to Det and Diane, Martin and Loughery have received big checks from County contractors worried about losing their no-bid contracts.”
Marseglia and Ansinn have raised a total of $481,744.50 for the entire campaign.
Update: The Bucks County Democratic Committee raised $51,000.
Friday the Montgomery County Democratic candidates for county commissioner team of Shapiro and Richards reported raising $933,161 between June 7 and October 24 and the campaign had $264,175 cash on hand. Friends of Leslie Richards raised $2,650 in the last reporting period and has $3,129 on hand. Friends of Josh Shapiro raised $41,162 in the last reporting period, and has $592,644 cash on hand. Total cash on hand is over $850,000.
In Friday’s press release, Shapiro and Richards expressed extreme gratitude to their donors, many of whom are Republican and Independent voters.
The Montgomery County GOP contingent of Jenny Brown and Bruce Castor reported raising $830,000 this cycle and they have $215,000 cash on hand.
Update: Brown and Castor’s spokesman Steve O’Toole reported that in addition to raising $830,000, the Brown-Castor team received $180,000 of in-kind contributions, a record for a single cycle in Montgomery County for either party in a county race.
Shapiro-Richards raised $4,200 of in-kind contributions. Brown-Castor spokesman Steve O’Toole emphasized that the Shapiro-Richards campaign relied mostly on PAC donations and six-figure transfers from other candidates PACs.
“In other words, focusing on contributions received during this campaign, we beat them significantly,” said O’Toole.
In a statement released today, Castor accused his Democratic opponents of intentionally misrepresenting their fundraising numbers.
“Josh had to transfer money from his State Rep Re-Election account raised in 07, 08, 09, 10 under the false pretense that he was running for that office to create the illusion that they kept pace with us during this period,” said Castor.
“There is no substance to their campaign based on misdirection and outright lies. And the trickery in the fundraising numbers is just the latest example,” said Castor.
Now, this is interesting. But for the money raised by Shapiro to run for the legislature which he may legally use for his commissioner race, the Republicans actually raised more money. Interesting, though not really important since money available to spend is what matters. Amazing the cash being thrown around in a county commissioner race. Clearly, something else is at work here: the lurking presence of Bob Asher. Isn’t it wonderful to behold?