Q1: Winners & Losers

cashThe finance reports have been filed, posted and picked apart. See who made the list.


Daylin Leach (D-13)

The State Senator has posted consistent fundraising numbers in previous quarters, but 2014 looks to be his year. In Q1, he came out in front of the widest congressional primary pack in the state.

Leach raised $335,660; physician Valerie Arkoosh came in second with $220,474; former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies in third with $211,178 raised; and State Rep. Brendan Boyle in a distant fourth with just $114,246.

Reasonable spending puts him in a close second of cash-on-hand at $654,202, certainly enough to put him on the airwaves in the last weeks of the primary race.

Bill Shuster (R-9)

The Congressman from Blair County represents one of the most conservative districts in the state and thereby will fight his larger battle in the Republican primary, but if fundraising is any indication of the upcoming election results, he’s stomping the competition.

Shuster brought in a whopping $737,379 for the first three months of 2014. He spent even more than he raised with a strong media campaign: $844,093, but was still left with a comfortable $1,252,482 cash on hand.

Tea Party opponent Art Halvorson only managed to raise $8,821.21 while spending $24,727.33. Halvorson has $56,492.52 in cash on hand. Travis Schooley gained a total of $9,602.49, spent $4,581.02 and has $5,692.13 cash on hand.

Erin McClelland (D-12)

After posting unimpressive numbers in Q4, McClelland kicked things into a higher gear in 2014. While she hasn’t quite caught up to incumbent Rep. Keith Rothfus, she looks far better poised to win the Democratic primary.

She raised $58,117, posted $47,145.54 spent and $31,619.29 cash on hand. Her better-known opponent, John Hugya brings up the rear with $19,730 raised, $24,285 spent and $20,441.45 cash on hand. Hugya was the chief of staff to former Rep. John Murtha while McClelland is a businesswoman and first-time candidate. She’s got a long way to go to be competitive with Rothfus, but Q1 was a good sign for her chances next month against Hugya.


Brendan Boyle (D-13)

The State Rep and congressional candidate had a disappointing quarter in a tough race. He brought in just $114,246, which would be an impressive amount were he not competing in a four-way primary for a safely Democratic seat.

This is even a decrease from Q4, where he raised $140,000. The last quarter of the year is typically slow, given that several major holidays fall in the period, making fundraisers more difficult to schedule.

He didn’t spend much, $97,111, but his cash on hand, $398,237, will not buy him the sort of exposure that Arkoosh and Leach will be able to afford.

Manan Trivedi (D-6)

This is Trivedi’s third time campaigning as a Democrat in PA-6, having lost to Gerlach in the general by large margins in both 2010 and 2012. But this time around he does not have to worry about the popular Gerlach and he even won the support of his only primary challenger, Mike Parish, last month following Parrish’s withdrawal.

But Trivedi raised just $132,416.50, but has yet to spend much — only $19,387.89. He sports $111,831.52 cash on hand and is not held down by any debts.

A great deal of his funding in this quarter also came from personal and familial contributions. One would have expected a stronger base of support for a candidate who had previously run in the district, especially since he believed he would have a primary challenger for most of the period.

Additionally, Trivedi’s results pale in comparison to his Republican adversary, Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello who raised $344,450.

Raj Kittappa (D-16)

Kittappa’s report fails to mirror the activities of a candidate running a campaign against a primary challenger who hopes to face a powerful incumbent. Of the contributions totaling just over $7K, Kittappa’s family members make up $5,200 of donations.

It’s puzzling as to why the Democratic candidate hasn’t spent any money, and it certainly isn’t a good sign as he moves into a primary battle with former State Rep. Tom Houghton, who was recruited by MoveOn.org and raised $29,587

6 Responses

  1. Shuster and those people who support him are just obscene pigs. His father suckled on the teat for 30 years and now Billy boy is going on 15 years. Pigs at the trough…..

  2. @tommyd
    I would really love to agree with you but, I simply cannot. All the best policies are useless if the general public does not know about them. For that, you need money for lit and TV ads. If you’re not getting the message out there, it’s the same as typing on a message board online.
    Public support is great and all but a campaigns’ goal is to contact as many people as possible. So you need feet on the ground to knock doors, distribute the lit, talk with voters and other such things. To do all of that, you need more of a commitment than a “Yeah, I’ll vote for you in November.”

  3. @Jackie: it’s worse than that–if you go through her report, it’s clear it’s mostly personal network fundraising. It’s not even real political fundraising. It’s a joke.

    Why did Dan Lavallee not make this list? He’s already outraised both candidates in 12 in two months and his opponent has far less cash on hand. He has a much better shot.

  4. Thirty thousand COH makes Erin McClennan a winner in a district that voted for Romney by seventeen points and where the Republican incumbent has a million in the bank? Is there any criterion here except whose staffers bothered to reach out to your reporters over a holiday weekend?

  5. I find it interesting that PoliticsPA bases “winners and losers” on who has raised the most money, not who has the best policies or the most public support. But now that money is speech and policy is for sale and public support can be purchased with advertising buys, I guess it all makes a sick kind of sense.

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