The first quarter 2012 financial reports are in, and the 1st Congressional District fundraising race is shaping up largely as expected:
Cash on Hand
John Koster (R)
Suzan DelBene had a strong first quarter in the race, tapping in to her rich network of rich people. A full $160K of her $342K came in "double-max" donations ($2,500 for each the primary and the general, $5,000 combined), many of them from people named Balmer, Gates and the like. That means $80,000 of the money she raised can't be spent in the primary. DelBene also records $250K in debt—a personal loan—a number that helps explain her oversized cash on hand advantage despite $121K in expenditures.
Coming in second in the money race last quarter was Darcy Burner, who has taken a more grassroots approach to her fundraising. According to her campaign, Burner has now received contributions from 5,062 supporters, far more than any other candidate in this race, at an average of less than $60 per individual contributor. That includes $30,000 from 1,200 supporters through an online drive on the last day of the quarter alone. This suggests that Burner should have no trouble attracting volunteers during the crucial final weeks of the campaign.
Coming in third was Laura Ruderman, with $103K raised, which she recently touted as her best quarter yet. Ruderman has a healthy $220,000 cash on hand, but she better pick up the fundraising pace if she hopes to stay dollar competitive with DelBene and Burner.
State Senator Steve Hobbs and political newcomer Darshan Rauniyar bring up the rear of the Democratic field, raising $74K and $30K respectively. Hobbs has a string of endorsements from fellow state legislators, but doesn't have a history of raising big money. As for Rauniyar, his early fundraising success appears to be petering out as reality sets in among prospective donors.
And finally John Koster, the putative Republican nominee, raised only $88K in the quarter. Sure, he can count on millions of PAC dollars to be ultimately spent on his behalf, but his anemic fundraising doesn't say much about his work ethic or his grassroots support.