Three candidates qualified for the Republican primary ballot in Iowa's second Congressional district, but the latest fundraising reports suggest that Mariannette Miller-Meeks will get a third chance at beating Representative Dave Loebsack.
Follow me after the jump for details on the first-quarter reports each candidate in IA-02 filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Four-term Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack had a strong fundraising quarter by his standards. His campaign reported raising $204,250.85 between January 1 and March 31, more than he raised during the third and fourth quarters of 2013. Also typical for Loebsack: he raised more from political action committees ($113,000) than from individuals ($91,250.85). However, it appears that $43,768 in contributions categorized as coming from political committees were in fact individual donations earmarked through the Democratic clearinghouse ActBlue. Loebsack did raise quite a bit of money from corporate, progressive, and labor PACs, as well as from fellow U.S. House Democrats and PACs under their control.
Loebsack's campaign reported spending $58,105.04 during the first quarter on a typical mix of expenses. That left the incumbent with $571,261.70 cash on hand as of March 31, not far behind where he was at the same point during the 2012 election cycle.
In the first FEC filing for her latest campaign, Miller-Meeks reported raising $128,806.83 during the first quarter. Of that total, $115,050.00 came from individuals, $12,500 from political committees, and $1,256.83 from the candidate herself. Click here for the full list of donations. Miller-Meeks hasn't loaned her latest campaign money, but she may do so later this year, having loaned a half a million dollars to her 2010 effort to defeat Loebsack.
Miller-Meeks spent just $4,830.20 during the reporting period, leaving $124,326.63 cash on hand with two months to go before the GOP primary. That's comparable to where Loebsack's GOP opponents stood at the same point of 2012.
I'll never understand why State Representative Mark Lofgren gave up his Iowa House seat. The man can't raise the kind of money you need to run for Congress, especially in a Democratic-leaning district. Lofgren's latest FEC filing shows $18,340.75 raised during the first quarter, all from individuals. That's less than he raised during the last three months of 2013, which was less than he raised during the quarter before that.
Lofgren's campaign spent $36,737.93 during the reporting period, leaving only $14,031.81 cash on hand as of March 31. It won't be enough to compete with Miller-Meeks, let alone with a Democratic incumbent.
I'd never heard of Matthew Waldren before his name turned up on the Secretary of State's official list of primary candidates in IA-02. At this writing, he hasn't submitted a financial report with the FEC, so I assume he hasn't raised a significant amount of money. Although Waldren attended a GOP debate in Davenport this week, I don't expect him to become a factor in the primary.
Any comments about the race in IA-02 are welcome in this thread.