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DCCC, DSCC End January With Big Debt

The House and Senate Democratic campaign committees outpaced their GOP counterparts in fundraising in January, but the two Democratic committees also carried more debt from the previous election cycle one month into 2009.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported that it raised $3.5 million and spent $2 million last month. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised more than $2.5 million and spent just less than $1 million in January.

But the House and Senate committees were carrying a combined $27 million in debt as of Jan. 31, according to the monthly fundraising reports that were due to be filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday.

The DCCC showed $16 million in debt left over from the 2008 election cycle and had $2 million in cash on hand.

The DSCC had $10.9 million in debt at the end of January and showed $1.9 million in the bank.

The two Republican campaign committees raised less money in January but also showed significantly less debt.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised about $1.8 million, spent $1.5 million and reported just more than $1 million in cash on hand last month. The NRSC ended January with a little more than $4 million in debts.

The National Republican Congressional Committee had $1.1 million in the bank and reported $6.5 million in debts on Jan. 31. The NRCC raised $1.5 million and spent $1.3 million last month.

With both parties expected to compete aggressively in the special election in New York’s 20th district, the January fundraising numbers for the House committees showed both have very modest financial means to do battle in the March 31 contest.

Neither the DCCC nor the NRCC has spent money yet on ads in the New York race to decide who will replace appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D).

Democrats selected venture capitalist Scott Murphy as their candidate, while Republicans tapped state Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco.

Both candidates are on TV airwaves with their first ads. Murphy is wealthy and presumably spending his own money to help fund the ads. Tedisco’s ads were funded in part by the Republican National Committee.

In the Senate, Republicans have experienced a rash of early retirements in battleground states. But NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) has promised an aggressive strategy to stay on offense in 2010.

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