Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick leads the fundraising race for Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, according to new reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Minnick raised more than $231,000 from January to March of this year, and had $889,082 in cash on hand at the end of March. That’s more than both of his top two Republican challengers in the money race, Vaughn Ward and Raul Labrador. The primary to choose a Republican to run against Minnick is May 25, followed by the general election on Nov. 2.
“It was an average quarter for us,” said Minnick’s campaign spokesman John Foster. “Walt’s been focused on doing his work as a congressman during a very busy three months and we ramped up the campaign so that he could continue doing that.”
Ward raised $167,000 during the first three months of 2010 and has $289,000 left in his account. On his website, he said he’s happy with his fundraising. ““I am honored by all the people who have contributed to our campaign,” he said. “Our strong fundraising effort shows that Idahoans are concerned with the direction our country is heading and believe in our message of fiscal discipline, less government, and lower taxes.” So far, Ward has raised more than $500,000 for the Republican primary, which he says is a record.
Labrador raised $35,000 during the first three months of the year and had $83,500 on hand at the end of March. Labrador could not be reached for comment, but there have been reports that he has recently fired his campaign manager due to low fundraising totals. The other candidates in the 1st District race, Republicans Allan Salzberg, Michael Chadwick and Harley Brown, Libertarian candidate Mike Washburn, and independent Dave Olson, did not file fundraising reports with the FEC.
In the 2nd Congressional District, GOP incumbent Mike Simpson raised $121,000 from January to March and had $252,000 in his campaign account at the end of March. Republican challenger Chick Heileson raised $11,000, with $14,000 left in cash on hand.
Candidates for federal office, including the U.S. House and Senate as well as contenders for the presidency, are required to disclose campaign earnings and expenses to the FEC every three months. State-level candidates for the Idaho Legislature and constitutional offices must file similar reports with the Idaho secretary of state every six months. State candidates also need to send reports to the secretary of state seven days before the May primary and November general election.