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Q2 Fundraising: Winners and Losers

Rep. Pat Meehan

The numbers are in. Here are the PA congressional candidates who rose and fell this quarter.

The second quarter is key for candidates, particularly challengers. For the wannabe top tier, this is their chance to prove that the impressive first quarter is for real and that they can sustain a serious effort. For those trying to get on the national radar, this quarter is make or break.

It’s also important for incumbents. A weak report in a competitive race is like blood in the water, making it easier for opponents to court prospective donors.

The reporting period includes April 5 through June 30, 2010.

The Winners:

Pat Meehan (R-Delaware, PA-7). There are a number of competitive districts in the expensive Philadelphia media market, and this quarter Meehan sent a clear signal to any organizations (like the DCCC or Dem super PACs) looking to pick off a freshman Republican: not here. He raised an impressive $498,000 and hit the $2 million mark on the cycle. He boasts $1.4 million on hand – the most of any member of PA’s GOP delegation.

Larry Maggi (D-Washington, PA-18). “Red to Blue,” here he comes. The Washco Commissioner left some questions open at the end of last quarter. He brought in $266K, but almost half of that* was a loan out of his own pocket. Could he keep up the pace? The answer is yes. He had a solid quarter at $203K (and no loans), put just as importantly his campaign presented the results effectively by noting that he has more COH ($408K) than any challenger ever to Rep. Tim Murphy. It’s still uphill: Murphy has over $1 million COH.

Keith Rothfus (R-Allegheny, PA-12). It’s not every day that a challenger has the luxury of a bigger bankroll than an incumbent, but such is the price of the PA-12 primary for Democrats. The attorney pulled in $384K this quarter, significant growth thanks to him earning the official designation as one of the GOP’s top tier candidates. He has $645K on hand, more than Rep. Mark Critz.

Mark Critz (D-Cambria, PA-12). The Congressman from Johnstown also gets a spot in the winners circle. Partly due to the high profile primary, partly due to his newfound access to Pittsburgh fundraising circles, he had the biggest quarter of any candidate in PA: $546K. He had to spend almost every dime of his Q1 haul to defeat Jason Altmire, but he’s already rebuilt his COH to $428K.

Allyson Schwartz (D-Montgomery, PA-13). She had a bit of an off quarter – the kind most candidates would kill for. She raised $396K and still has the biggest, baddest bank account among PA members of Congress: $2.9 million.

Jim Gerlach (R-Chester, PA-6). In the safest district he’s ever had, Gerlach enjoys more COH at this point in this year’s cycle than he did in 2010. Having raised $341K and boasting $885K COH, Gerlach is well positioned to defend his turf. Plus, his campaign says, a fundraising event with Rep. Paul Ryan held a few days after the quarter ended was one of the Congressman’s most successful ever.

Manan Trivedi (D-Berks, PA-6). But the incumbent isn’t the only person in gear. Trivedi, a physician, turned in another quarter million quarter and has more cash on hand than any other Democratic challenger in PA at $527K. His COH deficit with the incumbent ($358K) is also smaller than any competitive Dem.

The Losers:

George Badey (D-Delaware, PA-7). He’s not only competing with the incumbent, he’s also up against two other SEPA Dem challengers who are already on the DCCC’s top tier list. Maybe if Rep. Meehan weren’t so good at fundraising, or if the media market weren’t so expensive, the Delco attorney might have dodged this list. But raising $104K this quarter and having $205K on hand leaves him with a deficit that’s hard to overcome.

Rick Daugherty (D-Lehigh, PA-15). “Remember that time I ran for Congress?” we imagine Daugherty reminiscing some day. After a come-from-behind win over a better funded primary opponent, the Lehigh Co. Dem Chairman had a meager $3,121 on hand at the end of this quarter. That’s about $986,000 short of Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan at this time in his 2010 bid against Rep. Charlie Dent.

Aryanna Strader (D-Chester, PA-16). She has an interesting profile, but that isn’t enough to take on an institution like Rep. Joe Pitts. Strader raised just $10K this quarter, bringing her COH to $5K. Pitts raised $225K and has $505K on hand. Strader is a veteran and businesswoman and at the outset of the race there was a small chance for it to become competitive as the district grew slightly more Democratic. But now, that window is virtually closed.

Paper Filers. Karen Ramsburg (D-Franklin, PA-9), Gene Stilp (D-Dauphin, PA-11) and Laureen Cummings (R-Lackawanna, PA-17), you’re on notice. These three submitted their FEC reports the stone age way, meaning they won’t be accessible online for days.

Other underdog candidates with less than $25,000 cash on hand include:

John Featherman (R-Phila, PA-1) challenging Rep. Bob Brady: $97
Robert Mansfield (R-Phila, PA-2) challenging Rep. Chaka Fattah: $661
Charles Dumas (D-Centre, PA-5) challenging Rep. GT Thompson: $766
Harry Perkinson (D-York, PA-4) competing for the open seat of Rep. Todd Platts: $9,581
Hans Lessman (R-Allegheny, PA-14) challenging Rep. Mike Doyle: $14,351
Missa Eaton (D-Mercer, PA-3) challenging Rep. Mike Kelly: $21,481
Joe Rooney (R-Montco, PA-13) challenger Rep. Allyson Schwartz: $23,613

Note: because the PA primary occurred in April, the reporting period for Q1 was extended to the 15th and combined with the pre-primary report. It means that the 2nd quarter numbers don’t include the entire month of April.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Maggi’s $126K loan was included in a total Q1 haul of $169K. The loan was in addition to the $169K.

Here’s the full Q2 spreadsheet:

16 Responses

  1. Charlie Dent is pretty cute so i’d vote 4 him. He also has lots of $$$$$$$$$$$ to fund my spending spreeees!

  2. Poster Ronny, I looked into it and the FEC site indicates that the reports from Mr. Stilp’s committee were filed and accepted on time in both quarters you refer to. The delay before you were able to see them online would appear to be the result of the time the FEC takes to scan and post .pdf’s of paper filings sent by mail, something the author of the article alludes to.
    I hope this puts your mind at ease.

  3. It’s now Friday, July 20, and Mr. Stilp still did not file his FEC report. Even Laureen Cummings and Karen Ramsburg did. Please follow up on this, PoliticsPA! This is the way he operates here in Central PA and has for years. He is a sham! Look into this, please!

  4. Congressman Meehan has been working hard for the 7th district. I’m proud to have him as my rep. George Badey would be a mistake for PA

  5. Truly don’t understand where David Diano is coming from. This guy is on Facebook all the time trying to tell people Joe Sestak doesn’t live in Pennsylvania.

    Well, guess what David… Joe Sestak invited me to an intern dinner at his home in Edgmont Township a while back. You know where that is, David? Pennsylvania. He has been at numerous events for Pennsylvania candidates. I have talked to him on the phone and talked to him in person in recent weeks, and he has invited me to his home. You know where he invited me? Edgmont Township, Pennsylvania. Please stop.

  6. Take a look at Stilp’s FEC report from last quarter. it was supposed to be filed on April 12, but was not filed until the newspaper complained to the FEC and he was called out on it. My bet is he is potentially breaking Federal Law. Someone should look into this.

  7. Allyson Schwartz war chest looks like an up and coming Nancy Pelosi. She must be stopped we can’t have another Nancy!

  8. I think it’s pretty safe to say Gerlach and Meehan both have their races in a stranglehold. Gerlach is in a very Republican district and although Trivedi has raised a decent amount of money, the fact that Gerlach is killing it with his fundraising just puts that one out of reach for me. As for the Meehan race, I would be surprised if half the district has even heard of his opponent. Maybe he should spend less time practicing for the mummer parade and more time trying to get name recognition. But as the saying goes, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings. Or in Badey’s case, the bearded fat lady.

  9. Pat Meehan’s support comes from more than 600 individual donors, and he’s an independent-minded voice for the 7th District. His mummer-opponent might have to take up street performing just to pay for a trim of his beard. I haven’t seen numbers this bad since the box office returns for Lady in the Water – one of my poorer films. But as they at the Mummer Parade, “Even if you’re covered in vomit, just keep walking”

  10. The last thing PA7 needs is a democrat who can’t even get respect from his own party. Badey is clearly as weak as a candidate can get. These numbers show that Meehan is being recognized and rewarded for his strong leadership. Roll Call named Pat as one of the most prominent members of the house freshman class. He is an intelligent and passionate man who garners respect and has already stood out as a leader. That’s the kind of man who will truly fight for PA7 and the nation, as he has been doing for the past 2 years.

  11. Pat’s been working hard to keep jobs in PA7 and to fight for bi-partisan solutions to our nation’s problems. He is a true patriot and deserves every cent that was donated to him. Congrats Pat, keep up the good work on our behalf!

  12. Sestak never intended to run for the 7th Congressional District in 2012. Since his loss to Pat Toomey, he has wanted to run for Governor against Tom Corbett in 2014. Failure to file an online report also means the candidate has not raised/spent, or intends to raise/spend, $50,000 this year. Since Stilp didn’t file online, he either raised/spent almost no money or he has broken federal law.

  13. most of the money is from out-of-district interests
    Meehan is bought and paid for
    Luckily, it is VOTES not dollars that count in November

  14. DELCO OBSERVER- Joe has gone back to his REAL home in Alexandria, Virginia. Last month, he posted a picture of himself and his daughter on Facebook. The house in the background is that very same Virginia home, where he’s lived since 1998. Joe also seems to have found a new home on FoxNews as a go-to “Dem” to criticize Obama.

    As for winners/losers: If Meehan wins, the voters lose.

    As for some of these Dems who are out raised/spent 10 to 1, they are getting more bang for the buck, because the GOP candidates are not winning 91%-9%.

  15. As a PA7 resident, I can only say this: where have you gone Joe Sestak? George Badey may be a nice and intelligent guy, but he will be hard-pressed to keep up with Pat Meehan. It is a shame that the party leaders could not convince a top-tier candidate to run against one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the PA Delegation. At this rate, two more years of Pat Meehan is where we are headed unless we can change this direction.

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