Money Reveals Some Members Aren’t Really Serious About Senate Bids (Yet)

Rahall is still considering a Senate run. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Rahall is still considering a Senate run. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted April 18, 2013 at 11:56am

If Reps. Steve King, Jeff Fortenberry and Nick J. Rahall II are serious about running for Senate, their campaign fundraising does not show it.

Several House members eyeing Senate bids posted meager numbers, according to Roll Call’s Senate fundraising chart for the first quarter.

In general, members raise major cash to show their political force if they are seriously weighing jumping into a Senate race. For example, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., had raised $525,000 by the end of the first quarter this year, days before he announced he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.

(See which House candidates are on Roll Call’s retirement watch list thanks to their anemic fundraising).

Here are a few House candidates who haven’t taken their names out of the mix when it comes to potential Senate bids and who reported lackluster hauls:

  • Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., only raised $93,000 in the first quarter of this year. That can’t be good news for Colorado Republicans, who continue to hope he takes on the state’s Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in 2014.
  • Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, raised $229,000, a solid sum for a House member. But that number pales compared to the Democrat she’s thinking about challenging, appointed Sen. Brian Schatz, who raised $1.1 million in the first quarter.
  • King, the Iowa Republican, raised just $109,000 as he mulled his Senate bid this past quarter. Stuart Rothenberg wrote in detail this week about how this does not bode well for King’s Senate aspirations — if they still exist.
  • Fortenberry of Nebraska raised $71,000 in the first quarter. He has previously expressed interest in the open Senate race, but so has Gov. Dave Heineman, a GOP juggernaut in the state.
  • Rahall raked in $143,000 in the first quarter. He’s  considering running for the open West Virginia Senate seat. His competition would be Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who raised a whopping $946,000.