Where Iowa's statewide candidates stand financially before primary

Many Iowa candidates filed their last financial disclosures before the June 5 primary on Friday. Those reports were required for anyone running for governor who raised $10,000 or more between May 15 and 29, for those seeking other statewide offices who raised at least $5,000 during the same time frame, and for state legislative candidates who raised at least $1,000.

Follow me after the jump for highlights on fundraising and spending by all the Democratic and Republican Iowa candidates for governor, state auditor, secretary of state, secretary of agriculture, attorney general, and state treasurer. Bleeding Heartland discussed the previous financial reports on the governor’s race here. Those covered campaign activity from January 1 through May 14.

GOVERNOR

All of the candidates for governor raised money solely from individuals during this reporting period, because state law prohibits PAC donations to gubernatorial campaigns while the legislature is in session and for 30 days afterward. The Iowa House and Senate adjourned for the year on May 5.

Fred Hubbell had already set a record for Iowa candidate spending before a primary when the last set of disclosures came out on May 21. The final pre-primary reports showed that yet again, he raised and spent more than anyone else in the field. Between May 15 and 29, Hubbell gave his own campaign $700,000, which represented most of the $848,454.50 he raised during the reporting period. The bulk of the remaining money came from people giving $1,000 or more, although Hubbell had quite a few small donors too.

Hubbell’s campaign spent $981,563.32 during the second half of May alone. The last Democratic nominee for governor, Jack Hatch, spent about $1.8 million during the entire 2014 election cycle. Direct mail and television ad buys were the largest expenditures for Hubbell, but the campaign also spent $58,800 on May 29 for polling. Since data from that survey would arrive too late to inform messaging before the June 5 primary, Hubbell’s probably polling a broader spectrum of voters for clues on what messages might resonate during a general election race. Seven days before the primary election, the campaign had $114,941.21 cash on hand.

Governor Kim Reynolds reported raising $143,765.00 between May 15 and 29, of which $80,000 came from one donor in Wisconsin and $50,000 came from people who gave at least $1,000. The many small donors to her campaign provided less than 10 percent of the money raised.

Although Reynolds has no competition on the GOP primary ballot, her campaign spent $378,672.33 during the latest reporting period, of which $225,400 went toward tv ads and more than $52,000 went toward digital advertising. She had $4,007,708.63 cash on hand as of May 29.

John Norris reported raising $36,942.50 on his latest disclosure. One donor in Oklahoma gave $10,000, others donating at least $1,000 provided a total of $9,000, and the rest of the money came from smaller donors. The campaign spent $128,389.47 between May 15 and May 29, of which tv ad buys totaled just under $90,000 and digital ads around $4,500. Another large expense was $12,500 to the Iowa Democratic Party for the voter file. Going into the final week before the primary, the Norris campaign had $60,872.37 in the bank.

Nate Boulton ended his candidacy on May 24 but still raised $35,642.11 and spent $124,278.10 during the latest reporting period. Most of the money came in before the Des Moines Register published the story that led to Boulton’s exit, but quite a few individuals donated after that point. (Some may have set up automatic monthly contributions earlier in the year.) Staff salaries and video production were the largest expenditures, and the campaign had $11,752.36 cash on hand on May 29.

Andy McGuire reported raising $5,192.00 on her latest filing, mostly from individuals giving less than $1,000. Her campaign spent $117,367.83, including $43,063.19 for television commercials on nine stations. Staff salaries and $10,000 to the Iowa Democratic Party were other significant expenditures. McGuire’s campaign entered the final week with $36,753.12 cash on hand.

Ross Wilburn raised and spent no money and reported that his campaign was $515.71 in debt, the same as on May 14.

Cathy Glasson didn’t file a final pre-primary report, indicating her campaign raised less than $10,000 between May 14 and 29. The Service Employees International Union is by far her largest contributor, and PACs were not allowed to donate money to candidates for governor during the covered period.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned that neither of the Libertarian candidates for governor, Marco Battaglia and Jake Porter, filed a campaign finance disclosure either.

STATE AUDITOR

Democratic challenger Rob Sand raised seven times as much money during 2017 as did GOP State Auditor Mary Mosiman. He has continued to out-raise the incumbent this year.

Between January 1 and May 14, Sand’s campaign raised $178,167.80, about a third of which came from individuals giving $1,000 or more. Those major donors included some well-known Republicans. Sand also contributed $11,000 to his own campaign, and his mother gave $5,000. The latest disclosure showed Sand raised another $19,942.00 between May 15 and 29. More than half the money came from individuals giving at least $1,000. Major Republican donor Joe Crookham gave $5,000. Fifteen years of records on the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board’s website show no contributions from Crookham to any other Democratic candidate for a state office.

Sand’s disclosures show $68,179.93 in spending through May 14 and $12,933.57 during the following two weeks. Staff salaries, digital advertising, and various consulting fees were the largest expenses. As of May 29, the campaign had $283,144.78 cash on hand and $23,656.53 in unpaid bills for media production.

After raising less than $30,000 last year, Mosiman raised $60,991.00 through May 14 and another $4,330 during the following two weeks. Her largest donor was Frank Brownell, who gave $10,000 to both her campaign and Sand’s. Another $19,000 came from others writing four-figure checks; former Governor Terry Branstad and Joe Crookham were among Mosiman’s donors at the $1,000 level.

Mosiman does not appear to have hired campaign staff yet. CORRECTION: She has apparently been paying her campaign manager through consulting fees since January. Most of her $12,217.17 in spending during the first four and a half months of the year went toward consulting and printing or postage costs for a mailing. Between May 15 and 29, her campaign spent another $3,103.60, almost all on unspecified consulting services. The latest disclosure reported $112,458.88 cash on hand on May 29 with $6,475.76 unpaid bills, about $2,800 to consultants who hadn’t submitted an invoice and the rest to herself.

SECRETARY OF STATE

A surprise was lurking in the filings by secretary of state contenders. First-time candidate Deidre DeJear has raised more since January 1 than has her Democratic primary rival Jim Mowrer, who raised millions for his 2014 and 2016 Congressional campaigns. Both Democrats out-raised Republican incumbent Paul Pate, who’s largely self-funding his re-election bid.

DeJear raised $89,702.40 during the first four and a half months of the year, of which $27,000 came from donors who gave at least $1,000. Susan Knapp and EMILY’s List, which supports pro-choice Democratic women, both gave $5,000. (The first EMILY’s List gift in March had to be returned because of Iowa law forbidding statewide candidates from receiving PAC money during the legislative session. The group sent another $5,000 check in May.) DeJear’s latest filing reported $17,760.36 in contributions. Almost all came from individuals giving less than $1,000, except for $1,000 from Roxanne Conlin and another $1,000 from EMILY’s List.

DeJear’s campaign spent $82,656.09 through mid-May. Staff salaries, printing and postage for direct mail, and access to the Democratic voter file were the largest line items. The latest filing reported $45,863.96 in spending, mostly on two direct mail pieces and digital advertising. A week before the primary, the campaign had $14,313.11 in the bank.

Mowrer’s campaign raised $72,831.76 and received one $10,000 loan from January 1 through May 14. His Congressional campaign donated $2,000, and the federal PAC for which he serves as treasurer gave $1,500, prompting a prominent GOP activist to file an ethics complaint. Another $11,500 came in gifts of $1,000 or more, and the rest of the money came from smaller donors. Between May 15 and 29, Mowrer raised $6,701.50: two $1,000 gifts and the rest from smaller donors.

Mowrer’s campaign spent $82,912.25 through mid-May; staff salaries, fundraising expenses, voter databases, and various consulting fees were the largest expenditures. The latest filing reported $37,789.35 in expenditures, almost all on direct mail, leaving $19,285.12 in the bank as of May 29.

Pate has raised very little for an incumbent. His campaign brought in $19,024.00 through May 14; more than half came from major GOP donor Gary Kirke, who gave a total of $10,000. Between May 15 and 29, contributions to Pate’s campaign totaled $6,456.00; one $1,500 donor and the rest gifts under $1,000.

Consulting fees and campaign signs consumed the bulk of the $17,770.78 the secretary of state’s campaign spent through May 14. Over the following two weeks, the campaign spent $5,535.91, mostly on consulting. The campaign had $238,147.63 in the bank on May 29, with $283,500.00 in outstanding loans from the candidate.

SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

This primary will be an interesting test of strategy. Five Republicans are running for the position Bill Northey held for three terms. Several have strong ties to agribusiness, but none has raised the kind of money I would expect to see in a statewide GOP primary. A poll commissioned by The Iowa Republican website, which was in the field May 13 and 14, found the contenders largely unknown. Less than a third of respondents had either a favorable or unfavorable opinion about any of them. Asked how they planned to vote, 59 percent said they were undecided, and no candidate had support above 12 percent.

State Senator Dan Zumbach, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, leads the money race, having raised $124,670.00 through May 14. He transferred $20,000 from his Iowa Senate campaign, donated $3,000 and brought in more than $60,000 from other donors giving at least $1,000. He also donated more than $10,000 worth of mileage. Zumbach’s pre-primary report listed $22,205.00 in contributions, $5,000 from one PAC and another $8,000 from people giving $1,000 or more.

Zumbach’s campaign spent $43,706.92 through mid-May: $27,000 on a mailing and most of the rest on staff salaries and digital advertising. Over the following two weeks, the campaign spent $70,674.94: $32,771.63 on postcard mailings and $30,000 on digital advertising, leaving $32,493.14 in the bank with a week to go.

Current Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig is serving the remainder of Bill Northey’s term, having been appointed by Governor Reynolds. As a first-time candidate, he raised $83,747.00 through mid-May, of which $35,000 came from donors giving at least $1,000. The campaign’s latest filing listed $16,850.00 in contributions. Gifts of at least $1,000 accounted for $10,500 of the haul; the Archer Daniels Midland Company PAC gave $2,000.

Naig spent just $18,677.98 through May 14; the largest line items were consulting, videography, barn signs, mailings. Since mid-May his campaign spent $58,733.48, more than $40,000 on radio ads and $16,000 on direct mail, leaving $23,185.54 in the bank a week before the primary.

Ray Gaesser‘s campaign reported $86,394.00 in contributions through May 14. The candidate gave $10,000, and another $41,000 came from people giving at least $1,000. Over the next two weeks, Gaesser brought in $16,725.00, of which $12,000 came from donors giving at least $1,000.

Gaesser’s campaign spent $45,388.17 through mid-May; consulting and signs were the largest expenses. His latest disclosure listed $50,307.94 in spending, of which $29,598.51 was for radio advertising and $19,374.73 a mixture of absentee voter calls, Facebook ads, tv ad production and a small cable tv buy. The campaign had only $7,422.89 on hand as of May 29.

Craig Lang led the Iowa Farm Bureau for ten years, so I expected him to raise big money for this race. But through mid-May he had raised $30,205.70; $12,000 came from donors giving at least $1,000. He loaned his own campaign another $30,000. He had spent $42,993.11 through mid-May, mostly on consulting, printing, yard signs, and advertising. His campaign had $19,939.81 cash on hand as of May 14 and didn’t file a pre-primary report, indicating less than $5,000 came in between May 15 and 29, so several rivals will outspend Lang down the home stretch.

Chad Ingels didn’t file a report either in mid-May or last Friday, suggesting his campaign has raised less than $5,000 so far.

The only Democratic candidate for secretary of agriculture is Tim Gannon. His campaign reported $44,280.00 in contributions through May 14, of which $12,000 came from donors giving at least $1,000. He raised another $2,825 between May 15 and 29, all from individuals. With no primary competition, Gannon was frugal, spending $12,063.62 through May 14 and $80.12 in the two subsequent weeks. The largest costs were for the voter database, printing, and various consulting fees. Gannon’s campaign had $34,961.26 in the bank on May 29.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Tom Miller raised $169,659.95 during 2017, $28,500 from PACs and the rest from individuals.

He didn’t try as hard to raise money during the latest reporting period, perhaps because no Republican filed to run against him. From January 1 through May 14, Miller’s campaign raised $17,984.00, almost all from individuals. He appears to have hired a part-time campaign staffer in April. He didn’t file a pre-primary report, indicating his campaign raised less than $5,000 between May 15 and 29.

The GOP will likely nominate an attorney general candidate at its state convention later this month, but that person will have less than five months to campaign against an nine-term incumbent. Miller reported $218,428.72 cash on hand as of May 14.

STATE TREASURER

The country’s longest-serving state treasurer doesn’t seem worried about winning a tenth term. Michael Fitzgerald raised just $4,118.58 during all of 2017 and reported $23,659.56 in contributions during the first four and a half months of this year. All the money came from individuals, other than one $1,000 contribution from a labor union PAC. Fitzgerald chipped in $1,000 to his own campaign. He didn’t file a pre-primary report, indicating less than $5,000 in contributions came in between May 15 and 29.

After spending only $616.73 through May 14, the treasurer’s campaign had $60,207.35 in the bank. That isn’t much money for a statewide re-election bid, but there is no GOP candidate for this office yet. Republicans are likely to nominate a challenger at their state convention.

Final note: State political parties do not have to file reports on the Friday before the primary. On the mid-May filing, the Iowa Democratic Party reported $410,030.98 in contributions, $437,482.07 in expenditures, and $632,219.13 cash on hand.

The Republican Party of Iowa started the year with almost no money in the bank and reported $1,202,420.66 in contributions through May 14. The largest cash infusion was $522,000 from the campaign committee of former Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix, who emptied out his account shortly after resigning in March. After spending $476,691.54 during the reporting period, the Iowa GOP had $732,117.92 cash on hand.

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