So far, the only race with two declared primary opponents is Pennsylvania’s Eighth Congressional District where 2014 candidate Shaughnessy Naughton is taking on State Rep. Steve Santarsiero.
The early news on both candidates was correct in terms of the amount of cash they raised but we wanted to dig deeper. One note to remember before we begin, though, is that Santarsiero declared on January 8th while Naughton jumped into the race on March 5th. The first fundraising quarter covers the period from January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015.
Steve Santarsiero raised $221,659.05 while Naughton raked in $140,920.71. The State Rep. spent $17,864.90 over that time period while his opponent disbursed $12,531.25. At this time, Santarsiero has $203,794.15 cash on hand while Naughton has $129,478.04. It is also worth noting that Naughton’s campaign has $29,395.91 in debts and $13,500 in loans from her 2014 effort.
Almost a quarter ($54,541) of Santarsiero’s haul came from PAC money. Among the largest contributors were labor unions, with IBEW 98 leading the way with $10,000. Other major unions that chipped in included: Plumbers Union Local 690 $5,000; Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 $5,000; International Union of Operating Engineers $2,500; and the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Practitioners $1,000.
The State Representative also received plenty of help from his colleagues, led by $1,000 from House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. He also got $750 and $500 respectively from 2014 and 2012 PA-8 Democratic nominees (and endorsers) Kevin Strouse and Kathy Boockvar. Additionally, Santarsiero donated $2,100 to his own campaign.
There was one more notable donation, however, that came from State Supreme Court candidate Kevin Dougherty. Judge Dougherty gave Santarsiero $250 the same day Santarsiero gave the Judge $1,000. That day, March 29th, both men met at a Santarsiero event.
The day after that, the Santarsiero campaign received two $5,000 checks from the IBEW 98. The Business Manager of IBEW 98, of course, is the highly influential labor leader John Dougherty, Kevin’s brother. The Electrical Workers, and several other unions, revealed yesterday that they’re endorsing Santarsiero.
Meanwhile, most of Shaughnessy’s money came not from PAC’s but wealthy individuals, especially those interested in her focus on STEM issues.
Giving the max $5,400 were green energy advocate Michael Joseph Finney and Obama bundler Peter Buttenweiser. Among those that gave the maximum primary contribution of $2,700 were: University of Pennsylvania Professor Dr. Benjamin Abella; Massachusetts “power player” Nancy Beeuwkes; textbook author Warren Crown; venture capitalist Howard L. Morgan; and USC Chemistry Professor Curt Wittig.
We’re early in the process so, as you saw above, the expenditures for each candidate are rather small at the moment. Most of that money goes to staff and routine bills. Still, Santarsiero spent $11,000 for fundraising consulting from Rittenhouse Political Partners. They also gave $2,100 to NGP Van for use of its database. The only intriguing spending item on Naughton’s report was $5,000 in debt forgiveness from ML Consultants.