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.
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.
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: