SOUTHERN MINNESOTA - Allen Quist, the Republican candidate for Minnesota's 1st Congressional District, pulled in his strongest fundraising total of the campaign in his most recent FEC quarterly fundraising report.
However, he still finds himself significantly trailing Democratic incumbent Rep. Tim Walz and less than halfway to his promised goal of raising $1 million.
The October FEC fundraising report covers the period from July 26 through Sept. 30. Another pre-general election report will be released on Oct. 25 for just the October fundraising.
This quarter, Quist received $23,125 in individual contributions and loaned $160,000 of his own money to the campaign. His overall combined fundraising total was $185,625 this quarter. He spent $134,824 and ended the quarter with $168,679 in cash on hand.
This quarter was Quist's strongest fundraising yet, and he said he was very pleased with the "exponential increase" in his fundraising. In the April FEC report, Quist pulled in $12,710 in individual contributions while giving himself a total of $46,000 in contributions and loans to himself. In the July FEC report, Quist raised $8,230 and gave $170,000 to his campaign. Quist has raised $447,585 total for the entire campaign cycle.
Trailing in fundraising
Despite improvements this quarter, Quist's campaign is barely pulling even with prior Republican challengers to Walz, who raised nearly double his opponents this year. Quist has contributed $390,000 of his own funds to his campaign this year.
In the 2010 October reporting, Republican candidate Randy Demmer had raised $129,618 in individual contributions, $188,368 for the quarter and $607,655 for the entire campaign.
In the 2008 October reporting, Brian Davis had raised $82,278 in individual contributions, $116,608 for the quarter and $954,812 for the entire election cycle.
Meanwhile, Walz has had a sizable lead in fundraising each report despite being slightly down compared to prior years.
Walz's final report was not filed in time for this story, but his campaign reports he raised $320,000 for the quarter and ended with $790,000 in cash on hand. This quarter will bring Walz's campaign total to $1.8 million, which is approximately four times Quist's total.
$1 million promise
Quist has essentially named no fundraising targets during this campaign, but he promised at the failed April endorsement convention to raise $1 million to defeat Walz, with his personal finances cover the total not made up by campaign fundraising. With barely three weeks to go before the Nov.6 election, Quist has so far only raised $447,585.
Quist says he has no plans to change his promise and claims major contributors will make their fundraising muscles know in October. The pre-general election FEC report will show the final conclusion next week.
But, for this last quarter, Quist's fundraising prospects look challenging with indications that Republicans are reluctant to contribute this election. All of Quist's contributions came after he won the August primary and only a handful occurred in August. Quist received contributions from just four Republican county organizations: $500 from Brown County, $500 from Martin County, $300 from Blue Earth County and $200 from Jackson County. Quist also received his first and only political action committee (PAC) contribution of the race: $1,000 from the Minnesota U.S. Rep. John Kline's Freedom and Security PAC.
Quist said he is unconcerned about the challenge. He said the only important factor is his campaign's ability to continue to produce and air advertisements for his candidacy.
In other news for the campaign, Quist said he has now filled out his Personal Financial Disclosure form. The state DFL has targeted Quist and Republican candidate Lee Byberg as the only Minnesota candidates to not filed the required form, which details the financial interests of candidates and lawmakers for watchdog organizations. Quist said he has not yet sent out the form because the required address is not on the form and he has not yet been able to determine what it is. The form is required annually by lawmakers and all active Congressional candidates, and its due date was last May.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)