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PA-7: Meehan Sitting on More than $2M, Golderer Has Strong First Showing

Pat-Meehan-portraitBill Golderer’s first six weeks as a candidate for Congress have been quite a success, as the pastor brought in over $255K, just $60K less than incumbent GOP Rep. Pat Meehan raised over the last three months of 2015.

Golderer is in a primary race against 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Ellen Balchunis, whose campaign stuttered in the fourth quarter, bringing in just $11,108.

Top-Line Numbers

Meehan’s campaign for a fourth term in Washington, D.C. is now sitting on a $2.2 million stockpile, while he outspent Golderer almost 9 to 1 – $196,420 to $22,364 to be exact.

Balchunis’s campaign spent $7,384.90 during the fourth quarter, leaving the LaSalle University professor with just over $10K to bring into 2016.

Golderer’s thrifty spending in his first weeks has left him with a healthy $234,418 in cash on hand to spend before the April 26th primary.


Golderer picked up 76 donations of at least $1,000, with 19 donating the federal maximum – $5,400. The Philadelphia pastor raised $78,750 from just 10 families in Southeastern PA.

Golderer is running as a bit of an underdog in our latest PoliticsPA Readers’ Poll, but Balchunis is struggling for contributions, picking up just three over $1,000. In fact, Balchunis was her own biggest contributor over the fourth quarter, kicking in $2,496.

On the right, Meehan pulled in 74 contributions over $1,000, with 11 donating the maximum $5,400.

Two-thirds of Meehan’s largest donations came from PA residents, though his biggest contributors were from New York and North Carolina: ClearPath Foundation founder Jay Faison and his wife, Olga ($10,800) and multi-billionaire Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman and his wife, Christine ($10,800).

The three-term Congressman pulled in more than $300K from PACs and businesses and found especially strong support from the insurance industry – three of his top five donors: 1. Association for Advanced Life Underwriting ($9,500); 2. National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors ($8,500); and 5. New York Life Insurance ($7,500).


Meehan blew his competition out of the water in terms of campaign spending. He spent almost $200K, with $29,452 going to Red Maverick Media for consulting, $28,484 to The Theodore Company and $10,500 to Merves Amon & Barsz LLC for FEC compliance.

The Congressman’s campaign also dished out $24,725 to various GOP committees and candidates between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.

Golderer spent just $22K, including $6,328 in payroll and $2,250 for access to NGP Van’s databases. His Democratic opponent also purchased access to NGP Van’s databases ($1,750) and spent only $2,375 on payroll. Balchunis’ campaign also contributed $2,005 to local Democratic committees, candidates and PACs.

13 Responses

  1. Gerry Mandering-

    But, Obama lost it in 2012.

    Also, you fail to take into account that the statewide Dem Supreme Court candidates did about 10,000 votes better in Delaware county than the local countywide Dems, despite the D’s and R’s less than 2,000 voters different in voter registration.

    This is because the moderate R’s (and closet D’s) will vote for the Dems in the statewide races, but vote for the local Delco GOP machine candidate otherwise. The GOP machine has 2 or 3 times as many committee people for door-knocking, GOTV and manning the polls. But, they pretty much only do work for the local candidates and don’t do squat for the state candidates. All they care about is their own fiefdom.

    Even the unions are turncoats in Delco. They are “allowed” to support statewide Dems, but “have to” support local GOP under threat/fear of not getting local government contracts and work. Delco is run like a protection racket. The machine gets it’s kickbacks from local work, not from statewide.

  2. DD:

    Despite the numbers you listed; 1) As currently gerrymandered, Obama won the 7th in 08′, Casey won it in 12′, and Wolf won it in 14′. In the right year, with the right candidate, Dems can win the Seventh. A lot of those R voters you list are only registered R’s because they’re part of the old Delco Days or they work for the government, at some level.

    To win the Seventh, you need a well financed candidate with a good story that contrasts against a do-nothing Congressman. This is a winnable seat, and that’s why people across the Country are looking at the Seventh.

  3. Balchunis may be the last thing that the Republicans want! A person of unique qualifications who hasn’t bowed tot he big money politicians who teaches politics for a living!

    Marie Ellen is a really good human is well schooled and educated to represent others and who frankly cannot impressed those with the motive of dictating their policies instead of contributing to the rekindling of real down to earth representative democracy.

    The only way for the people to change this situation and lack of social parity for the decreasing middle class is to win with people like Mary Ellen. Perhaps I am a dreamer about honesty in government but it is really what we need to have to start to solve the decline we continue to experience.

  4. Jack Washington and Gerry Mandering-

    I hate to clue you both in, but even “holy Joe Sestak” with $5 million could not take that seat back from Meehan.

    Remember, it took Sestak $3 million to capture the seat from Weldon BEFORE the 7th was redistricted into one of the worst gerrymanders in the state.

    Current numbers:
    R- 213.5 K
    D- 147.5 K
    I- 53.0 K

    The Dems need a candidate in there in case Meehan gets hit by a bus, caught in a hotel room with a dead hooker, or bursts into flames riding a hoverboard.

    The Dems need the most qualified candidate and the candidate who reflects their values. Only Mary Ellen fits that bill with her long service to the Democratic party and her knowledge/expertise as a political science professor.

  5. What? A real story about the only two candidates that matter in this race? There you go PoliticsPA! Golderer v Meehan sounds pretty good to me. I’ve been saying it for the past few months, the Seventh may become more interesting than the Eighth! Now that Meehan has a wealthy primary challenger, he’ll be forced to spend some of that warchest and Golderer may be able to close the gap!

    What a great time to care about Dem races in SE PA!

  6. Golderer is the next Bob Edgar. The Seventh knows how to elect great Dem Representatives and BG will be fine.

    It’s funny to me that people think the backing of some local parties is a true representation of what the District wants and needs. BG was in the race for two months before those endorsements and MEB has known most of them for 20-40 years….

    Also, anyone who has run a race before knows that Golderer can afford his own ballots, and his own staff to hand them out at the polls.

    If you can’t raise money, you can’t win races. Real world 101.

  7. David Diano is correct:

    And, if the 65% of the district likes having corporate America run the show, let them keep voting for the 1% and the billionaire’s candidate (Meehan). I’m sure most of these 65% of folks are mostly all in the Fortune 500 and have similar financial interests with the special interests supporting Meehan. As for Golderer, Jesus would likely have you stay in the church. As for those who love the constitution, they likely want you to remember the separation of church and state. This district does not have a very good choice for Congress, except I’d vote for Balchunis if I lived in this unfortunate district. She’s actually more like the district financially I’d suspect.

  8. PA Politics Junkie

    The Dems represent only 35% of the voters in the 7th. Getting 40% when you are outspent 10 to 1 against an incumbent in a GOP wave year doesn’t make you a bad candidate.

  9. run over him with loyal committee people and a strong sample ballot. The local dem parties can carry the endorsement for a true dem(not specter). The proselytizer will be relying on the lord and that vey special picture of him that he has been using for his press

  10. Wait, run over him with what? No cash and a stellar record of losing to Meehan by 20 points?

  11. Hey junkie,
    Mary Ellen has the endorsement of every Dem committee in the district she will run over this phony faith healer in the primary.

  12. That sound you hear right now is the air coming out of the Balchunis bubble. Golderer vs Meehan will be fun to watch

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