Disclosures Shed Light on Member Matchups

Posted October 17, 2011 at 6:43pm

Third-quarter fundraising figures offered the first glimpse into the financial strength of a number of Members who are squaring off against a colleague as the result of redistricting this cycle.

The new reports filed during the weekend with the Federal Election Commission also showed which lawmakers are already taking sides — at least financially — in the early stages of Member-vs.-Member primaries.

In a marquee Member matchup in Iowa’s 3rd district, the difference between Reps. Tom Latham’s (R) and Leonard Boswell’s (D) war chests was substantial at the end of September. Boswell had $376,000 in cash on hand, while Latham had more than $1.7 million in the bank. Latham also outraised Boswell, $346,000 to $144,000. Latham, who is close to Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), pulled in donations from GOP Reps. Doug Lamborn (Colo.), Bob Latta (Ohio) and Sue Myrick (N.C.). Boswell did not appear to receive any donations from other Members’ campaign committees, but he did pick up donations from lawmakers’ political action committees, including those of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.).

“The campaign cycle is far from over. We will have every resource we need to run a successful campaign, as we always do,” Boswell’s Iowa chief of staff, Grant Woodard, said when asked about the cash disparity.

East of Iowa, in Illinois, where Democrats drew a particularly gerrymandered map that left a number of Republicans out in the cold, two sets of GOP Members are facing each other.

Freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R) took in $156,000 to fellow freshman Rep. Randy Hultgren’s $187,000. But Hultgren had $276,000 in cash on hand to Walsh’s $466,000.

Freshman Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R), 33, who appears likely to face 10-term Rep. Don Manzullo (R), 67, in an exurban district southwest of Chicago, raised $212,000 to Manzullo’s $320,000. Kinzinger had a bit more in cash on hand, with $567,000 in the bank to Manzullo’s $484,000.

In California, where a nonpartisan redistricting commission drew a number of Members together, the marquee race is between 15-term Rep. Howard Berman (D) and eight-term Rep. Brad Sherman (D). Berman pulled in $819,000 in the third quarter and had $2.3 million in cash on hand at the end of September. Sherman raked in just $174,000 but had $3.7 million in the bank. Berman received donations from a handful of other Members, including California Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman and Jackie Speier.

Sherman, for his part, did not appear to receive any donations from other Members’ campaign committees.

But beyond the intrigue of the Berman-Sherman race, there are other likely Member-vs.-Member contests brewing in the Golden State.

In the matchup between Republican Reps. Gary Miller and Ed Royce, the latter bested the former by more than $300,000. Royce pulled in $358,000 in the quarter and had more than $3 million in cash on hand, while Miller raised $58,000 and had just over $1 million in the bank.

Rep. Janice Hahn (D), who has only been a Member since July, faces a primary battle with third-term Rep. Laura Richardson (D). Hahn raised $140,000 in the quarter and had $120,000 in cash on hand. Richardson raised $72,000 and ended September with $117,000 in her war chest.

In Michigan, where Democratic Reps. Hansen Clarke and Gary Peters are set to face off, Peters raised $159,000 to Clarke’s $129,000. Clarke had $423,000 in the bank, while Peters was sitting on $839,000 at the end of last month.

In Ohio, a recent state Supreme Court decision allowing Democrats to attempt to put a referendum on the 2012 ballot to abrogate the new Congressional map could dramatically alter next year’s electoral landscape.

But assuming the current lines hold, there are three likely Member-vs.-Member primaries.

Republican Reps. Steve Austria and Michael Turner will face each other in a primary. Austria pulled in $208,000 this quarter, while Turner raised $300,000. Both Republicans had about the same amount of cash in the bank: Austria with $412,000 and Turner with $422,000.

The Buckeye State’s redraw also left Democratic Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur in a likely face-off. Kaptur raised just $43,000 in the third quarter — including only two contributions from individuals in Ohio — while Kucinich pulled in $89,000, still not a very substantial sum. But Kaptur had $605,000 in cash on hand at the end of September, while Kucinich had just $90,000.

Reps. Betty Sutton (D) and Jim Renacci (R) are likely to face off in another race between Ohio incumbents. From July to August, Renacci raised a comfortable $325,000, while Sutton raised $166,000. Renacci had $782,000 in cash on hand compared with Sutton’s $365,000.

And down south in Louisiana, the likely battle in the bayou between tea-party-affiliated GOP Reps. Jeff Landry and Charles Boustany, a close ally of Boehner’s, heated up in the third quarter.

Surprisingly, Landry bested Boustany in the quarter, pulling in $251,000 to Boustany’s $218,000. But the four-term Congressman had a cash-on-hand advantage, with more than $1.1 million in the bank. Landry had $402,000 at the end of September.

In North Carolina, where a Republican Legislature passed a gerrymandered map that puts four Democrats in jeopardy, Rep. Brad Miller (D) was drawn into the same district as Rep. David Price (D). Miller appears poised to take on Price in a new district that contains about a third of each man’s current territory.

Miller pulled in $93,000 to Price’s $122,000 in the third quarter. Price, the dean of the Tar Heel State’s Democratic delegation, had $128,000 in cash on hand. Miller had $188,000 in the bank at the end of September.