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Welch Announces $1 Mil on Hand

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Steve Welch, an entrepreneur from Chester County, has $1 million cash on hand his campaign announced today. Welch himself loaned $1 mil of the roughly $1.125 mil he will report for the 4th quarter.

The figure moves him to the front of the fundraising line in a Republican primary characterized by self-funding candidates seeking to unseat U.S. Senator Bob Casey.

Welch also ran for Congress in 2010, at first in the 7th district and later in the 6th.

“I am honored to have received the support of those who have contributed to my campaign. The contributions come from people who are concerned about the direction of our country and the ever growing size of our federal government,” Welch said in a statement.

Welch is the first Senate candidate to announce his or her fourth quarter fundraising. Reports are due two weeks after the end of the quarter.

The campaign of former Pa. Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks) sent an email to supporters on December 31st saying they had raised $116,399 at that point. Rohrer campaign manager Zac Moyle says the final number will be higher.

Tom Smith, the former owner of a coal company who hails from Armstrong County, loaned his campaign $750,000 in the third quarter; sources indicate he will has upped the ante for Q4.

Tim Burns, a bio-tech company founder from Washington County, is still preparing his report according to a campaign spokesperson.

As much or more than the innate value of the million dollars on hand is the optics: the Senate candidates are currently jockeying for support of Republican State Committee. The GOP will meet in regional caucuses starting this Saturday, where they will hold straw polls and discuss possible endorsements for the 2012 primary. A hefty Q4 is key to candidates seeking to prove, in time for the statewide meeting on Jan. 28, that they would be the most serious challenger to Sen. Bob Casey. Why else announce numbers on the same day most political media is focused on Iowa? (At least two other campaigns say they will also announce this week).

Correction: Casey had over $3 about $3.75 million on hand at the end of the third quarter, and will likely report over $4 mil around $5 million for Q4.

8 Responses

  1. Steve Welch is an excellent candidate and willing to commit significant amounts of his own money to the campaign and I admire that.

    Unfortunately, by his choice of consultants and his past record, it appears he will seek the Establishment’s endorsement. Unlike Tom Smith, Steve Welch is not independent of Republican Leadership and that is too bad.

    Sam Rohrer is independent of the Republican Establishment, too.

    Tom Smith is The Guy and he is committed to running a primary and is not actively seeking State Republican support or endorsement and Tom Smith is not likely to get it because he is independent.

  2. Amen Steve – we have little use for people who run for the position and not the people. Not to mention I’m so annoyed by these politicians with wide positions and absolutely no idea on how to fix an issue. I guess it comes from their own backgrounds…when you never have to face a true challenge, you never get a chance to become a solution maker.

  3. This guy is a joke who is obviously running for his own personal interests not to serve the American people. Ran for Congress in the 7th district and the 8th district and is now donating $1 million to his own campaign. NO THANkS!

  4. Money isn’t everything to the Republican State C ommittee Members. The will not forget that Welch changed his registration from Republican to Democrat to vote for Obama in the 2008 primary!

  5. I thought I read it was 150K. Still, based on why I’ve heard of the other candidates, this amount will be one of the larger fundraising totals. Major contributors tend to sit on the sideline until they get a better sense of whom will actually be the candidate against Casey.

  6. 250K for someone still not widely known isn’t a bad hall, if Steve can get the some traction with state committee the money will start the flow. The 1 Million just shows that he is personally invested in beating Bob Casey.

  7. In political campaigns, not all money is equal. When the vast majority of the money you “raised” comes from self-financing, that is more of a sign of weakness than strength. While required by the FEC, it is the height of naivete to think of money a candidate loans his/her campaign as being “raised.”

    Any candidate who knows what he/she is doing will tell you he/she would rather have $750,000 raised from others than $1 million self-financed. There is a finite amount both Welch and Smith will put into their own campaigns (they “can” put in as much as they like, but will not), and it will be far less than needed to beat Senator Casey.

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