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PA-6: Q4: Li Stockpiling, Costello Widening Lead

moneyAfter switching races to run in PA’s 6th Congressional District at the end of last year, Lindy Li is well-positioned for a showdown with incumbent GOP Rep. Ryan Costello.

Li switched districts after DCCC leaders grew cold on Mike Parrish, though she has said she had intended to run in the 6th district “from the very start.”

Top-Line Numbers

Li, a 25-year-old Democrat has almost $390K in cash on hand, while Parrish has just $27,711 to spend, according to fourth quarter FEC reports.

Costello’s campaign passed the $1 million mark in the last quarter, in terms of money raised. The freshman Congressman now has over $860K to spend on his re-election.

Costello brought in $209,595 from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. While that’s less than half of his stellar second quarter performance, it’s still $65K more than Li raised – $144,110 – and five times more than Parrish took in – $39,794.

Li took out her campaign checkbook once in the fourth quarter, spending just $5,000. Meanwhile, Parrish’s campaign is continuing to spend its cash reserves, paying $38,528 throughout the last three months of 2015.

On the other side of the aisle, Costello spent over $87K, bringing his total re-election campaign spending to $437,859.


Costello picked up 39 large ($1,000+) contributions, including $68,750 from 33 donors in the Greater Philadelphia area and another $8,000 from 6 donors across the country.

Costello drew solid support from businesses and PACs, with 78 donors over $1,000. The airline industry was especially charitable to Costello, taking three of his top-five donor slots: 1. National Air Traffic Controllers PAC – $9,000; 4. Boeing PAC – $7,000; and 5. Airline Pilots PAC – $6,500.

The first-term Republican also pulled in donations from 10 of his colleagues: Keith Rothfus (PA), Steve Fincher (TN), John Kline (MN), Carlos Curbelo (FL), Lamar Smith (TX), Rodney Davis (IL), Richard Hudson (NC), Brett Guthrie (KY), Darrell Issa (CA), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ).

On the Democrats’ side, Li received 43 donations of at least $1,000, though only four of them were from PA residents. She picked up more than $50,000 from ActBlue, a Democratic fundraising network which has raised over $900M since 2004. NY Rep. Grace Meng also donated to Li’s campaign.

Parrish’s nine biggest contributors kicked in just $20,700 in the fourth quarter. Parrish’s only other notable support came from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 614, to the tune of $1,000.


Costello spent almost $90K over the last three months of 2015, with much of it going to fundraising and consulting fees: The Theodore Company ($31,826), KC Consulting ($16,086) and Dexter Campaigns ($7,400).

The Costello campaign also paid $8,353 for media consulting to Mercury Public Affairs, who have been called to handle MI Gov. Rick Snyder’s press during the Flint water crisis.

Parrish spent more than $20,000 on payroll expenses in Q4. Another $4,750 went to The Dover Group for consulting, while NGP Van picked up $3,225 for access to their databases. Parrish still owes $7,571 to NY research firm Grand Central Consulting.

Though she’s sitting on piles of money compared to her Democratic challenger, Li has opted to keep her money in the bank mostly, spending just $5,000 on fundraising over the last quarter.

If Li wants any chance at becoming the state’s only female federal lawmaker – and the youngest representative in Congress – she’ll need to spend her money wisely in PA’s 6th District.

The Cook Political Report rates the seat R+2. It is currently considered “Likely Republican”.

PA’s 6th Congressional District consists of parts of Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery Counties.

5 Responses

  1. It seems to me that, while impressive fundraising out of the gate is helpful in a campaign, important endorsements from key political committees and elected officials are an effective method for bringing in subsequent money down the road, when it may be more influential.

  2. Guillermo-

    I think she’s more beholden to the voices in her head.

    When I met her a year ago, she claimed she could raise $7 million for the 7th and got upset when I laughed and tried to explain how ridiculous that was. But, she argued that I didn’t “know her dreams”. This may be the source of those voices.

    To put $7 million in perspective, it’s more than the 3 Dem U.S. Senate candidates have raised combined so far.

    The support she (supposedly) has from the DCCC is based on $$$ and those greedy bastards hoping to sell her consulting services from their inner circle.

    The money she raised is impressive… until one looks at how she raised it.. by playing on her race/ethnicity to target every Chinese name she could buy from NGP donor lists, and playing upon her youth for those willing to send a few buck to help a kid.

  3. Only 4 of Li’s contributions are from PA. Already beholden to out of state interests, and petitions aren’t even submitted yet!

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