ST. PETER - The Minnesota House District 19A campaign fundraising reports released Wednesday show the three candidates are taking divergent paths to drum up voter support.
Voters go to the polls on Tuesday at select a successor to Terry Morrow, a St. Peter Democrat who officially resigned on Jan. 7 to take a job in Chicago. District 19A covers all of Nicollet County as well as portions of Blue Earth and Le Sueur counties.
Republican candidate Allen Quist, a St. Peter farmer and former legislator, raised $14,283, of which $5,187 has been spent and $6,357 remains.
Although the report does not cover the final week of the campaign, candidates do report donations over $400. All candidates signed up for state subsidies in exchange for fundraising limitations.
Quist has raised an additional $2,000 with $2,902 in subsidies pending.
DFL candidate Clark Johnson, a?Minnesota State University professor from North Mankato, raised $11,400, spent $4,935 and had $6,357 on hand. He also had $4,500 more raised and $4,145 in subsidies pending.
Independence candidate Tim Gieseke raised $3,270, spent $2,400 spent and had $870 remaining. He also raised $2,200 more and has $2,229 in subsidies pending.
The reports also provided insight into the different ways the candidates focused their fundraising and spending.
Johnson's campaign focused on big events, big donors and big media buys. A large chunk of his fundraising came from $500 donations from Minnesota's major unions and $250 donations from several MSU professors.
He made the biggest media buys with $4,618 in radio ads with the North Mankato-market of KTOE for the last week of the campaign and nearly $1,400 in newspaper ads for January. He spent minimally on campaign literature and flyers.
He has focused on the DFL-leaning student voters at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. These voters are a major unknown for the Feb. 12 election because students return to campus on Feb. 10 from a winter break. He is poised to cap his campaign off with a big "Get Out The Vote" event at the college on Monday at 5 p.m.
Quist focused on fundraising with an army of small donors, minimal media buys and heavy emphasis on targeting voters.
Quist's fundraising reports shows $8,627 raised from small donors compared to $2,950 from large donors. This success has been almost exclusively due to his friend U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's help with two fundraising e-mails and a $500 contributions from her Michele PAC.
Quist has only bought $820 in radio ads with KTOE and no reported newspaper ads. He has focused on using and updating the state Republican Party of Minnesota's voter database for 19A. He received more than $1,700 worth of in-kind donations for voter identification work and "Get Out the Vote" phone calls.
Gieseke had the most comprehensive and diverse approach. The state Independence Party and the 1st Congressional District Independence Party have been heavily involved in 19A with work such as providing door knocking volunteers from the Twin Cities. The 1st District party has done most of the fundraising. A spokesperson with the state party said it is focused on using the race to grow membership. The membership focus is meant to ensure the party has enough voters for its 2014 gubernatorial candidate to remain on the state ballot.
Radio ads for Gieseke have been jointly funded by Gieseke's campaign and the 1st District party, spending nearly $2,500 across KTOE in North Mankato, KNUJ in New Ulm and KRBI in St. Peter.
Gieseke has self-funded the most money of the race at $1,350 compared to Quist's $500 and Johnson's $200.
Gieseke said his focus is on giving a strong debate performance to overcome his party's fundraising limits and lack of voter databases.
Debate forums will take place today and Friday at 1:05 p.m. on KTOE's 1420 AM and 102.7 FM stations. The format will focus on short answers for questions on numerous topics.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)