The National Journal is reporting that Matt Cartwright, the Lackawanna County attorney challenging Rep. Tim Holden in the PA-17 primary, has raised $600,000 so far, not including any self-funding.
However, Cartwright’s campaign manager says that’s off base and that the campaign hasn’t released any specific numbers.
If true, the haul would put Cartwright within $150,000 of Holden’s fundraising for the cycle.
Scott Bland of the National Journal’s Hotline has the scoop (emphasis added):
Without any of his own money, Cartwright has raised almost $600,000 thus far for his bid against Democratic Rep. Tim Holden, according to a source with Cartwright’s campaign. Those numbers are fueled by Cartwright’s extensive trial lawyer connections — he and his in-laws run a nationally recognized law firm in Scranton.
For reference, Holden raised just over $480,000 in the whole of 2011, and he finished the year with slightly more than $400,000 on-hand. For another reference, only four House candidates raised more than $600,000 in the entire fourth quarter of 2011, and Cartwright didn’t even have an whole quarter to collect his current haul. There are still 10 days left in the first quarter, and Cartwright didn’t file with the Federal Election Commission until January 18.
Holden’s fundraising has picked up since he acquired a newly drawn district and a serious primary challenger: He has raised about $230,000 so far this quarter to reach about $708,000 raised for the cycle, according to his campaign manager, Eric Nagy.
The number also popped up recently in the comments section of NEPA political blog Gort 42.
But Cartwright’s campaign manager Shane Seaver says his camp has not released any numbers.
“There are two things we would never be let known: our internal polling numbers, and the money we’ve raised,” Cartwright campaign manager Shane Seaver told PoliticsPA.
He characterized fundraising to-date as strong, but wouldn’t comment on the $600,000 figure – or whether Cartwright had contributed to his campaign.
“I don’t want to tip my hand either way,” he said. “I can tell you we’re up on the air 6 weeks out, and plan to stay on through primary day.”
Seaver said the Cartwright campaign would announce its numbers shortly after the end of the first quarter on March 31.
If the report is true, that’s more than enough to get out his message. Then it’s a question of whom the voters prefer.
Is there a debate scheduled?