Southwest Washington Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler continues to hold a daunting fundraising lead over her three Democratic challengers, according to the candidates’ latest campaign disclosure reports.
The fourth-term Battle Ground Republican amassed $394,000 between Jan. 1 and March 31, and she finished the reporting period with $767,000 cash on hand. She raised $317,000 in individual contributions and received another $69,000 from political action committees. She has more in cash reserves than all of her challengers combined. David McDevitt, a Vancouver businessman and licensed attorney, was first among Democrats with $406,000 cash on hand. However, the two-time congressional candidate only raised about $5,000 in individual contributions during the quarter. He has loaned his campaign $400,000 — virtually his entire cash on hand total.
Meanwhile, voter enthusiasm for Carolyn Long, a Washington State University Vancouver professor, has translated into political donations. She raised nearly $239,000 this quarter, with almost $230,000 coming from individual donors. The first-time candidate reported $167,000 cash on hand. Dorothy Gasque, an Iraq war veteran and prominent Bernie Sanders supporter, received nearly $40,000 in individual contributions. She finished the quarter with $41,000 cash on hand.
While McDevitt holds a cash advantage over his competitors, both Long and Gasque have spent more than he has. Long reported $93,000 in first-quarter operating expenses, and Gasque spent nearly $14,000 on campaign activities over that span. McDevitt spent just under $8,000 during the same period. Herrera Beutler, meanwhile, reported nearly $141,000 in operating expenses for the first quarter. First-time candidate Earl Bowerman — a Camas Republican who filed to challenge Herrera Beutler from the right earlier this month — is not required to submit a campaign finance report until next quarter.
Since first winning election in 2010, Herrera Beutler has won each of her re-election battles in the 3rd Congressional District by more than 20 percentage points.
The average winning House candidate spent about $1.3 million in 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.