U.S. Rep. Tim Walz continues to fundraise significantly stronger than his Republican challengers Mike Parry and Allen Quist in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District race, according to Thursday's special pre-primary FEC reports.
With Parry and Quist locked in a very heated battle in July ahead of the Aug. 14 primary, the FEC report provides a last minute look into each campaign's final fundraiser pushes. The report covers July 1 to July 25.
Walz raised $27,845 for the quarter while spending $28,579 and ending with $807,909 in cash on hand.
Quist, a former state legislator from St. Peter, raised $18,800 for the period, spent $66,135 and ended with $117,878 on hand. Quist's fundraising total broke down into $8,800 raised through contributions and $10,000 in his own funds.
Parry, a state senator from Waseca, raised $8,890 for the period while spending $11,701 and ending with $27,797.
in the report
Beyond basic story about dollars raised, the FEC reports also unveiled a number of interesting details about the ongoing events.
Quist made July a major fundraising push ahead of the primary, pushing out the first TV ad of the campaign and hosting a major fundraiser in Rochester that featured Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
With the Bachmann fundraiser, Quist previously claimed he had raised $9,000 with the event. With only $8,800 raised in contributions, Quist's total is incompatible with the report. When asked about the inconsistency, Quist said he had been going off the estimates that ticket counters provided. He said that he rarely sees his own finance report, leaving the majority of the work to his treasurer.
The event consisted of a private reception with Bachmann at $250 per couple tickets, followed by a $50 per person public event. Given the number of $250 donations recorded in the itemized receipts and the fact that the $50 donations went into the unitized receipts, there is a possibility that the Bachmann fundraiser was well below the $8,000 to $10,000 goal that Quist was seeking.
When asked, Quist claimed that several supporters who were unable to make the event sent in checks at later dates. He did not provided any specific examples.
Similarly notable in the reports is that Quist and Parry were only separated by $90 in contributions raised, despite Quist's heavy fundraising push this month.
Another point of interest was that Quist's expenditures in July were almost entirely made up of a combined total of $50,975 he spent on air time for a TV ad. The spending broke down into $42,500 to Charter Media for cable ads and $8,475 to KEYC. Absent from the report was Quist's planned purchases for air time on two Rochester area networks.
When Quist was asked, he said he was unsure why the Rochester ads were not on his report because he did not handle the purchase. However, he said that he has had confirmation that his ad is airing in the Rochester market. It is possible the ad purchase was made after the July 25 cutoff date. The Charter purchase was made on July 12, and the KEYC purchase was made on July 20.
Finally, the report showed that all three candidates were significantly down in fundraising compared to the last two primary races.
In July of 2012, Walz raised nearly $28,000 while Quist and Parry raised nearly $9,000 each. Comparatively, Walz's 2010 challenger Randy Demmer raised around $43,000 and Walz raised nearly $54,000. The 2008 race is not compatible for comparison since it occurred in a different month due to the primary behind held at a later date in the past.
Similarly, the 2012 FEC shows Walz raising more than the combined total of his Republican challenger for the third straight report.
The Parry and Quist campaigns indicated they were not discouraged.
Parry targeted Quist in a statement, claiming his self-funding showed his campaign was floundering. Quist focused on his own numbers, stating that he believed the low numbers were due to the "minimal fundraising that month." Quist said he plans to shift gears post-primary, dedicating roughly half his campaign time to fundraising to make up lost ground.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)