Governor's race fundraising roundup

The major party candidates for governor have submitted financial reports for the first four and a half months of this year. Former Governor Terry Branstad raised the most money during the period and is on track to spend more than $2 million before the June 8 Republican primary. Governor Chet Culver raised almost as much as Branstad since January 1 and has the most cash on hand by far. Republican candidates Bob Vander Plaats and Rod Roberts are way behind in terms of fundraising.

More details and analysis are after the jump. UPDATE: I’ve listed the contributors who gave at least $10,000 to the Culver or Branstad campaigns during the latest reporting period.

By the way, the three Republican candidates face off in their third and final debate today at noon. You can watch live at the Des Moines Register or Iowa Public Television sites.  

The Culver campaign announced yesterday that the governor has $3.256 million cash on hand, having raised $1.48 million since the beginning of the year. The release emphasized Culver’s $2 million cash on hand advantage over Branstad. I haven’t seen Culver’s filing yet at the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board site, but I will post a link when it becomes available.

UPDATE: Culver’s financial reports can be downloaded here. A $750,000 contribution from the Democratic Governor’s Association made up about half of Culver’s fundraising since January 1. Without that money he would have been far behind Branstad, who hasn’t received money from the Republican Governors Association yet (to my knowledge). Other large donations to the Culver campaign include $50,000 from the Carpenters District Council of Kansas City 8457, $25,000 from the Iowa State UAW PAC, $25,000 from Fred Eychaner of Chicago, $25,000 from John Law of California, $10,000 from Bernard Rapoport of Texas, $10,000 from Jean Kennedy Smith of New York, $10,000 from Kenneth Mazik of Florida, $10,000 from the Great Plains Laborers’ District Council Iowa PAC, $10,000 from the Operating Engineers Local 234 Political Fund, $10,000 from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, $10,000 from the Office & Prof Employees Intl Union, and $10,000 from the AFL-CIO Iowa Committee on Political Education. Although it wasn’t one of Culver’s largest gifts, I also noticed $2,500 from the NRA Political Victory Fund 8032 this month. In April Culver signed a law making it easier to carry concealed weapons in many Iowa counties.

Branstad’s campaign announced impressive fundraising numbers on Monday: just under $1.64 million raised from January 1 through May 14 and about $1.2 million cash on hand. Since Branstad began his campaign, he has raised about $3.18 million from approximately 9,600 donors. (Culver’s campaign has raised nearly $5.798 million since 2007; the number of contributors was not available.) Branstad’s report hasn’t been posted yet at the IECBD site, but I will post a link when I find one. Tom Beaumont noticed that Branstad raised more than Jim Nussle did during the first reporting period in 2006. For most of that time, Nussle was unopposed in the Republican field.

UPDATE: Branstad’s financial report is here. His largest contributions include $50,000 from Adventureland Park c/o Jan Krantz, a total of $50,000 from Denny and Candy Elwell of Ankeny, $50,000 from Eldon and Regina Roth of South Dakota, a total of $40,000 from Bruce Rastetter of Alden, $20,000 from Ed Ochylski of Florida, a total of $30,000 from Joe Crookham of Oskaloosa, $25,000 from Mark Falb of Dubuque, $25,000 from Paul Singer of New York, $25,000 from Kyle Krause of Waukee, $20,000 from John Butler of Dubuque, a total of $25,000 from Gary Kirke of West Des Moines, a total of $25,000 from Margaret Kenyon of Urbandale, $15,000 from Michael Bennett of Sioux City, $15,000 from Toby Shine of Milford, $13,000 from Myron and Connie Gordin of Oskaloosa, $10,000 from Robert Van Diest of Webster City, $10,000 from Maurice Sinclair of Melrose, $10,000 from Gale Peterson of Reinbeck, $10,000 from Carl Dallmeyer of Washington, Iowa, $10,000 from Don Lamberti of Ankeny, $10,000 from Leonard Hadley of Cedar Rapids, $10,000 from Linda Juckette of Cumming, $10,000 from Diane Crookham-Johnson of Oskaloosa, $10,000 from John Gleeson of Sioux City, $10,000 from Charles Johnson of Las Vegas, Nevada, $10,000 from Chuck Long of South Dakota, $10,000 from John Callaghan of Iowa City, $10,000 from Jim Cownie of Des Moines, $10,000 from Cameron Sutton of Grimes, $10,000 from Helen Lho Ryu of Cedar Rapids, $10,000 from Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC, and $10,000 from the Deere & Company PAC.

Bob Vander Plaats’s campaign announced raising $284,383 since the start of the year, with $247,613 cash on hand as of May 14:

“With our cash on hand and our continued strong fundraising efforts in May, our campaign will have the funds necessary to win on June 8,” Vander Plaats said. “We have the funding to have a significant advertising presence to get our message to Iowa Republicans as they are making their decision about our party’s nominee and its future.”

Vander Plaats has not run any television commercials yet to my knowledge, but I assume we’ll see some very soon with the primary less than three weeks away.

Since launching his third campaign for governor, Vander Plaats has raised about $945,000, including in-kind contributions. He raised more than two-thirds of that figure in 2009, and I wonder whether he regrets spending nearly $400,000 during the off-year. I’m a little surprised that he has less than $250,000 on hand now, despite not advertising on television yet. You can download the latest Vander Plaats campaign filing here. I haven’t had a chance to go through it yet. When I read his January report, I remember thinking I’d never seen so many Dutch names in my life.

State Representative Rod Roberts was the least-known of the candidates at the start of the campaign and has not surprisingly lagged way behind in fundraising. Since January 1 he has raised $54,087 and spent $120,330, leaving $32,615 in the bank as of May 14. Roberts’ largest expenditures were for the television commercials that started running last week. The Roberts campaign filing can be downloaded here.

Though we still haven’t seen a single public poll of the Republican primary since Branstad entered the race, his financial dominance makes him the prohibitive front-runner. Between January 1 and May 14 his campaign spent nearly $2 million, about five times more than his Republican rivals combined. Branstad has been running statewide television commercials continuously since early April and has sent much more direct mail than his opponents.

With that kind of spending advantage and far more visibility on television than Vander Plaats and Roberts, Branstad should be able to win the primary easily. If he doesn’t win 50 to 60 percent of the vote on June 8, he’ll have underperformed.  

Note: I haven’t seen reports on the IECDB site yet for Jonathan Narcisse, who plans to run as an independent or for Libertarian candidate Eric Cooper. I will update this post with those numbers if and when they become available. Candidates who haven’t raised or spent more than $750 for their campaigns don’t need to file disclosures with the IECBD.

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