It surely was an interesting week for what already appears to be one of the more entertaining primary races in the state, if not the nation. Currently there are four declared candidates seeking to win the Democratic nomination to replace Congresswoman and gubernatorial hopeful Allyson Schwartz.
With the full financial reports now released, here’s where the Democrats in the four-way contest stand – and where each one drew his or her biggest support.
Physician and activist Valerie Arkoosh remains the lowest-profile candidate in the race, but if finances are a guide she may end up being the nominee. She raised a solid $285,000 this quarter and she currently has over $459,000 on hand. That gives her more money to spend than any other candidate and is a huge asset for a candidate with room to grow vis-a-vis name ID. Her ability to raise cash shows that she is a serious contender in this contest.
Additionally, Arkoosh only received $7,500 in PAC money, which came from physician organizations. Arkoosh, like Schwartz, has been an active healthcare advocate. In fact, Arkoosh’s husband was Rep. Schwartz’s campaign treasurer – which has given her an inside track to the donors most supportive of the woman she is attempting to replace.
State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Phila) also had a solid financial quarter bringing in over $252,000 with $224,000 cash on hand. Boyle received a big boost from unions, as a good deal of the $96,800 he raised in PAC money came from them. Overall, Boyle got contributions from several unions, most notably, $5,200 from Local 98 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, $5,000 from Local 401 Iron Workers, and another $5,000 from the International Association of Firefighters. Boyle’s heavy union support goes hand-in-hand with the backing of Rep. Bob Brady (D-Phila) who endorsed Boyle back in April.
The rest of Boyle’s PAC money came from his colleagues and numerous other local politicos who gave generously to his campaign. Among those that gave $1,000 included State Reps. John Galloway (D-Bucks), Scott Conklin (D-Centre), Margo Davidson (D-Delaware), his brother Kevin Boyle (D-Phila), and Jaret Gibbons (D-Beaver).
The big winner of the second quarter was State Sen. Daylin Leach. The “Liberal Lion” of the PA Senate raised $357,000 and has $277,000 cash on hand. Leach also scored an endorsement for another well-known progressive, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL).
While Leach had plenty of individual donors, he was also able to secure over $33,000 in PAC money. Earlier this year, Leach introduced a bill to legalize marijuana, and pro-pot supporters showed their gratitude in the form of a $5,000 donation from the Marijuana Policy Project PAC. Leach also got $5,000 from the UAW and $1,000 from PSNAP after each group endorsed him last June. Finally, Leach also donated $10,000 to his own campaign.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the race so far is that the former Congresswoman and Clinton in-law came in last in this fundraising cycle with just $185,000 raised. Margolies’ entry into the race was widely covered, and it was expected that with her national connections she would be the frontrunner in the race. That she may be, but it’s not reflected in the report.
It should be noted, however, that Margolies entered the race on May 30, giving her only a month to raise money. All the other candidates were in the race by early April, meaning that Margolies was still able to raise more per week, over $46,000, than her opponents were.
“The campaign was not predicated on the Clintons coming in and helping us financially. … All I can tell you is Marjorie doesn’t want to run the race that way and we don’t intend to run the race that way,” said Margolies campaigner Ken Smukler.
However, Margolies did receive plenty of money from long-time Clintonites like Vernon Jordan, Lanny Davis, and Mack McLarty. She received a max $5,200 contribution from former Clinton Treasury Secretary and economic mastermind Robert Rubin. She also got a $2,000 donation from Harold Ickes, the former Clinton Deputy White House Chief of Staff and current advisor to the Ready for Hillary SuperPAC.