Iowa Congressional 3Q fundraising roundup

All Congressional candidates had to file third-quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission by October 15. After the jump I've posted details on the fundraising by Iowa's candidates for U.S. House.

The Senate reports are not online yet at the Federal Election Commission's website, so those numbers will come later.


The plot thickens in the open first Congressional district, where three more Democrats and one more Republican have entered the race since the last round of FEC reports. Lots of people will have the resources to run credible district-wide campaigns before the June 2014 primary. Taking the five Democrats in alphabetical order:

Former State Senator Swati Dandekar has had strong support from the business community throughout her political career, and it shows in her FEC filing. Dandekar reported raising $223,747.00 during the quarter, quite a lot for a non-incumbent. $194,147.00 of her donations came from individuals, $24,100 came from PACs (a huge number for a non-incumbent), and $5,500 came from the candidate herself. Dandekar has the largest number of maxed-out donors, including seven people who gave $2,600 for both the primary and general election campaigns. In other words, $18,200 of the money she raised during the third quarter can't be used unless she wins the Democratic primary. I was surprised not to find State Senator Wally Horn or former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge on Dandekar's donor list. Horn is co-chairing her campaign, and Judge is advising the campaign and acting as a surrogate at some Democratic events around IA-01.

Dandekar's campaign reported $36,667.22 in spending, mostly on payroll and consulting. She had $187,079.78 cash on hand at the end of the quarter. Again, $18,200 of that total is restricted for use during the general election period.

State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic raised $37,050.01 since announcing her candidacy in August. All came from individuals except for $1,000 from the VGM PAC based in Waterloo. Kajtazovic reported $7,878.05 in expenditures and $29,171.96 cash on hand as of September 30. That would be a respectable amount for an Iowa House campaign, but she will need to raise a lot more to reach Democratic primary voters district-wide through direct mail or paid advertising next spring. All of the $5,142.93 in campaign debts are owed to the candidate herself.

Former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy raised more money than he did during the first quarter but a bit less than he raised during the second quarter. During July, August, and September, Murphy's campaign brought in $77,914.00, including $68,914.00 from individuals and a total of $9,000.00 from three labor PACs. Many current and former Iowa legislators donated to Murphy, as did 2010 U.S. Senate nominee Roxanne Conlin. Murphy reported $25,706.07 in expenditures during the third quarter and $176,247.06 cash on hand as of September 30.

Cedar Rapids-based attorney Dave O'Brien reported $103,973.00 in contributions during his first quarter as a candidate in IA-01. All of the donations came from individuals. O'Brien used to live in Sioux City and was the Democratic nominee in Iowa's sixth district (northwest Iowa) in 1988, which explains the number of donors from western Iowa. O'Brien's campaign spent $24,374.37 during the reporting period, leaving $79,598.63 cash on hand as of September 30.

Cedar Rapids City Council member Monica Vernon had another strong quarter with $120,712.30 in contributions, all from individuals. Vernon gave her own campaign $10,000, plus some in-kind donations for travel expenses. She spent $57,745.81 during the third quarter, mostly on payroll and other routine campaign expenses. That left $162,308.69 cash on hand as of September 30.

Turning to the Republicans, Rod Blum wasn't able to match his second-quarter fundraising. He reported $60,977.62 in contributions, $46,620.62 from individuals and $14,357.00 from the candidate. Blum's campaign spent $18,423.79 during the reporting period, leaving $140,802.18 cash on hand as of September 30. That's far more money than Blum raised for his 2012 campaign in IA-01, even if roughly $10,000 of the funds Blum raised during the second quarter of this year can't be spent before the June 2014 primary.

Steve Rathje hasn't raised enough money to keep up with his campaign spending earlier in the year. During the third quarter, his campaign reported just $7,658.51 in contributions from a total of five individuals. He did pare back his expenditures to just $16,219.75 during the third quarter, leaving $56,889.71 cash on hand as of September 30. However, that number is deceptive, because fully $26,000 of Rathje's cash on hand is restricted for use during the general election period. He can only spend it in the unlikely event that he wins the GOP primary.

At this writing, I don't see a report on the FEC's website for the newcomer to the IA-01 Republican field, State Representative Walt Rogers. I will update this post with details when available. Rogers should be able to raise substantially more than his competitors. UPDATE: I forgot that although Rogers started exploring a Congressional candidacy during the third quarter, he didn't announce until October 1. So he won't need to report to the FEC on his contributions and expenditures until after the fourth quarter.


Four-term Democratic Representative Dave Loebsack had a typical quarter, raising less money than Iowa's other incumbents and more from political action committees than from individuals. Loebsack's campaign raised $151,156.64 during the third quarter, $68,906.64 from individuals and $82,250.00 from a wide range of corporate and labor PACs.

Loebsack reported spending $34,794.98 during the third quarter on typical campaign expenses. His campaign had $332,010.04 cash on hand as of September 30, which would be a lot for a challenger but isn't a huge war chest for an incumbent.

Fortunately for Loebsack, his only declared Republican opponent raised surprisingly little money despite broad support from the GOP establishment. State Representative Mark Lofgren's campaign reported only $57,182.00 in contributions during his first fundraising quarter as a Congressional candidate. $52,250.00 came from individuals, $1,000 came from the Dr. Pepper Snapple PAC (has to be a good backstory there), and $3,932.00 came from the candidate. Lofgren's campaign spent $32,419.81 during the third quarter. The biggest-ticket items were consulting from Victory Enterprises and a range of campaign gear.

Out-raising the incumbent would have generated some buzz for Lofgren, but he missed the opportunity. His numbers won't scare off Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who sure looks like a Congressional candidate to me. She put a lot of her own money behind her 2010 campaign against Loebsack.


As usual, Republican Representative Tom Latham raked in a ton of money, thanks to his long incumbency, his friendship with House Speaker John Boehner, and his chairmanship of a House Appropriations subcommittee. The National Republican Congressional Committee put Latham in its incumbent protection program over the summer. Perhaps for that reason, Latham's campaign raised far more from July through September than during the previous quarter.  

Latham's latest FEC filing reports a massive $417,051.53 in contributions. As is typical for him, Latham raised far more money from PACs ($260,560.00) than from individuals ($156,491.53).

Latham reported spending $56,520.54 during the third quarter, which is a lot of money. But a candidate's burn rate is not a concern when he has $871,498.94 cash on hand more than a year before the election. He'll have plenty of money to defend himself from what could be a strong challenge.

In her first FEC filing, former State Senator Staci Appel reported $238,877.03 in contributions, of which $189,127.03 came from individuals and $49,750.00 came from PACs--a very large number for a challenger. Appel's PAC donors included several prominent politicians and labor groups as well as EMILY's List, which endorsed her candidacy in August.

Appel reported $39,215.24 in spending during the third quarter on payroll and other typical campaign expenses. As of September 30, her campaign had $199,663.04 cash on hand.

At this writing, I don't see a report on the FEC website for Latham's other declared Democratic opponent, Gabriel De La Cerda. I will update this post with details as needed.


A recent poll showed six-term incumbent Steve King slightly trailing a generic Democrat, but King's FEC filing doesn't reveal much concern about a tough race. At this point in 2011, King had raised far more money preparing for his 2012 battle against Christie Vilsack in a redrawn IA-04.

King's latest FEC filing reports raising $109,871.37 during the third quarter, including $90,371.37 from individuals and $19,500.00 from a few conservative and corporate PACs. King does't collect anywhere near the amount of PAC money as Latham.

King's campaign spent a surprising amount of money during the second quarter as he explored a possible U.S. Senate candidacy. I expected him to dial the spending way back during the third quarter, but he reported $122,861.40 in campaign expenses. His largest disbursements were for fundraising, direct mail, and payroll (mainly his son and daughter in law). King's campaign also spent $22,873.00 on polling during the reporting period.

The upshot is that as of September 30, King's campaign had only $92,787.70 cash on hand, a very low number for an incumbent.

During his first three months as a Congressional candidate, Democratic challenger Jim Mowrer actually out-raised King. Mowrer raised $181,514.19, including $165,514.19 from individuals and $16,000.00 from a range of politician and progressive PACs. Mowrer spent $52,031.35 during the period on typical campaign expenditures. As of September 30, Mowrer had $128,857.84 cash on hand, which will be a good start in the most expensive Iowa Congressional district. IA-04 covers a huge geographical area, 39 counties and multiple media markets.

Any comments about next year's Congressional races are welcome in this thread.

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