Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) outraised his Democratic challenger, Kristy Gnibus, in the second quarter of the year.
Kelly’s campaign raised just over $175,000 from the beginning of April to the end of June, while spending $75,000 during this time period. His second quarter haul is a slight drop off from the previous quarter, when the Butler County Republican raised just under $210,000 in the first three months of the year.
Gnibus, a teacher in Erie who is the Democratic nominee for the 16th Congressional District, raised slightly under $90,000 from the beginning of April to the end of June, while spending just over $50,000. Her second quarter haul is nearly a $35,000 improvement from the previous quarter when she raised $65,000 in the first three months of the year.
Kelly is currently serving in his fifth term in Congress representing the Western Pennsylvania district. He bested Democrat Ron DiNicola in his most recent reelection bid by close to 4.5 points in 2018, in the Trump friendly district. His victory over DiNicola was his closest race since winning his seat in Congress.
The Gnibus campaign released an internal poll conducted by Public Policy Polling in late June that showed Kelly leading by 8 points, 48-to-40. The Gnibus campaign believes that polling shows that the incumbent is vulnerable, while the Kelly campaign didn’t take stock into the internal poll and described it as an effort “to raise money.”
This same poll showed President Donald Trump edging out former Vice President Joe Biden by 4 points, 49-to-45, in this district that the president carried by 20 plus points in 2016 over Sec. Hillary Clinton.
The DCCC is targeting Kelly plus Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) and Scott Perry (R-York) in the state this November.
Kelly had the largest margin of victory in 2018 among the three candidates that the DCCC is attempting to unseat in the state. The Butler County Republican represents the most Trump friendly district of the three targeted by the DCCC.
In February, the Cook Political Report moved the rating of the race in the 16th District from Likely Republican to Safe Republican, where it remains today.