House Republicans raised $4.5 million in January with the help of $500,000 worth of campaign transfers from their Members last month.
As of the end of last year the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had $16.7 million in the bank — almost six times the size of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s bank account. But on a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) announced that the committee, which had meager fundraising throughout 2009, is “turning the corner” and boasted $4.1 million in the bank as of the end of January.
House GOP leaders made a public request for their Members to transfer funds to the cash-strapped NRCC at the end of 2009, when the committee reported having only $2.67 million in the bank. Sessions cited the efforts of Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas), presentations by GOP leadership and the overall morale boost the party got from Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) special election victory as reasons for the pickup in Member giving last month.
“We have seen Member money come in at less of a rate than what we have wanted,” Sessions said. He added that Member morale was further boosted late last month when the GOP Conference came together for its annual retreat in Baltimore, an event that served to fire up the rank and file about the party’s 2010 election prospects.
Republican leaders also used the conference call to announce that 10 of their highly touted challenger candidates have reached the top level of the “Young Guns” program. NRCC Recruitment Chairman Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) cited polling data, strong fundraising and even outstanding numbers of Facebook friends as reasons to promote the following 10 candidates:
Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby running in Alabama’s 2nd district.
Former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin running in Arkansas’ 2nd district.
Former state Rep. Dennis Ross running in Florida’s 12th district.
Retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West running in Florida’s 22nd district.
Marine Corps Veteran Vaughn Ward running in Idaho’s 1st district.
State Sen. Andy Harris running in Maryland’s 1st district.
Former Rep. Steve Pearce running in New Mexico’s 2nd district.
Former Rep. Steve Chabot running in Ohio’s 1st district.
Former state Sen. Steve Stivers running in Ohio’s 15th district.
Former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan running in Pennsylvania’s 7th district.
Rep. Mike Rogers (Mich.), NRCC incumbent retention chairman, also argued that more Member transfers are likely on the way given that most GOP incumbents are in good shape for 2010. He said that compared to last cycle, their top 15 most vulnerable incumbents have raised 32 percent more and spent 11 percent less.