SOUTHERN MINNESOTA - Allen Quist, a Republican candidate running for Minnesota's First Congressional District, is planning to make a massive fundraising push over the next two weeks with a new TV ad blitz and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann fundraising for him.
The TV ad will be first by a candidate in this race. Expected to debut toward the end of this week, the ad will depict Quist holding his granddaughter Lucia Johnson and speaking about the federal debt. In the ad, Lucia will climb stairs that transform into a bar graph of federal debt levels while Quist states the US is putting its children in debt. Quist has often carried a similar graph of federal debt to most of his events. The ad will end with Quist calling for a balance of the federal budget.
Quist said they will distribute the ad in every cable channel they can find in the First District. He said they will also run the ad in Rochester and Mankato's network channels, including KEYC.
Quist said the ad will run for three weeks on stations, but it has not yet been determined if they will occur consecutively or spaced out. He said the ad will be posted on his campaign website and accompanied by a great deal of newspaper ads.
The second part of the fundraising push will be an appearance by Bachmann at a Rochester fundraiser event for Quist on July 20. The event is being held at the private residence of Dr. Scott Wright and it consists of two parts: a private $250 per ticket event at 6:30 p.m. and a $50 per ticket public event at 7:30 p.m.
Bachmann, who has had close ties with Quist and his family for years, will be encouraging those in attendance to give vigorously to Quist's campaign. She is expected to also speak about the federal budget and the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the federal health care overhaul.
Quist said he expects Bachmann's stumping to be a big fund generator for his campaign.
"I'm able to raise sufficient funds without her, but this is a lot of frosting on the cake. She has incredible draw," said Quist, "Some people have even been calling her the ATM of the Tea Party movement. That title kind of amuses me."
Quist said he plans for the TV ad and Bachmann fundraising to be a "game changer" for his campaign. He is current battling it out with Sen. Mike Parry (R-Waseca) to be the Republican candidate to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in November. Quist and Parry will fighting it out until the August 17 primary after a 14-hour, 23-ballot convention failed to select a Republican nominee.
Quist's fundraising will come after the next July 15 campaign fundraising report. The report will cover the fundraising quarter from April 1 to June 30. Both Republican candidates struggled last quarter to generate much fundraising, with each raising less than half as much as prior Walz challengers during the same reporting cycle.
Quist claims he anticipates $160,000 left in his campaign fund for the upcoming reporting, with $50,000 to $75,000 having been spent over that quarter.
Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at email@example.com