With little more than a month remaining until filing week, candidates for the 3rd Congressional District have amassed more than $675,000 in contributions this quarter. Leading the pack is Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, but Democratic challengers aren’t too far behind.
Republicans Herrera Beutler reported $391,500 in contributions between Jan. 1 and March 31, $317,000 which comes from individual contributions, $69,000 from political action committees and $5,000 from the Washington State Republican Party.
She ended the quarter with $767,000 cash on hand and spent about $141,000 on operating expenses.
Donors of note include Safari Club International, a gun rights lobby, which donated $2,000. Until this quarter, Herrera Beutler had not received contributions from gun rights groups since 2015.
Local developer Clyde Holland and his wife, Rena, are among the 308 individuals who made contributions this quarter. Both gave the maximum, $2,700, to both the primary and general elections.
Ken Fisher, CEO of Fisher Investments, also contributed the individual maximum this season, topping out at $5,400 between the two elections.
“I continue to be humbled by all of the individuals who have stepped forward to support this campaign,” Herrera Beutler said in an email. “I’m confident that we’ll have the resources we need to let voters know about my efforts to fight Oregon’s scheme to toll the I-5 and I-205 bridges, protect our native salmon, save Southwest Washington families $2,300 by cutting their taxes, and solve problems facing our region.”
Herrera Beutler is no longer the only Republican vying for her seat. Newcomer Earl Bowerman announced his intent to run April 8, just a week shy of this quarter’s Federal Election Commission filing deadline. Bowerman’s first filing is due July 15.
Democrats As Carolyn Long announced last week, she raised $239,000 this quarter, $230,000 of which is from individual donors. Her fundraising efforts have brought in more donations than any Democrat has been able to rake in since Herrera Beutler took office in 2010. Campaign Manager Wyatt Arnall said they will continue to push full steam ahead.
“Carolyn Long’s campaign is going to continue what we’ve been doing: holding town halls throughout the district, phone banking and canvassing,” Arnall said. “We are building a strong, grass-roots campaign, and that is how we will win this election.”
Donors to Long’s campaign include former Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard, City Councilor Ty Stober and former 49th District Sen. Craig Pridemore, who gave $100, $50 and $300 respectively this quarter.
Long took in 371 individual contributions this quarter, 222 of which were given through ActBlue, a nonprofit that builds fundraising technology for left-leaning candidates. Contributions through ActBlue total more than $136,000 this quarter. Because these contributions are filed via a PAC, initial FEC data does not disclose who the individual donors are. That information is available to those willing to dig a little deeper and sort through the raw contribution data. In terms of transparency, Arnall said this is not ideal and that “it should not take an expert to decipher FEC data.” But, he added, “the greatest impediment to transparency and our democracy lies in the disclosure and spending rules for PACs and super PACs.”
Long is not the only candidate to use ActBlue for her fundraising efforts. Dorothy Gasque also amassed the bulk of her contributions using the nonprofit’s technology. Gasque reported $39,457 in contributions between Jan. 1 and March 31, $34,846 of which came via ActBlue. She received 470 individual contributions, many of which are on an ongoing basis from the same individuals. One contributor, for example, has given $27.50 eight times this quarter.
Gasque’s campaign could not be reached for comment, but she’s put a focus on grass-roots campaigning in the past and has advocated for small, ongoing contributions as a method to accumulate funds.
Gasque reported $13,924 in operating expenses and ended the quarter with $41,000 cash on hand.
Rounding out the Democratic candidates is David McDevitt, who has the most cash on hand, but the least in individual contributions. McDevitt reported $5,150 in contributions, but ends the quarter with $406,000 cash on hand thanks to another sizable personal loan to his campaign. McDevitt started his campaign with a $300,000 loan and added another $100,000 this quarter.
“I’m grateful I have the means to support my beliefs,” McDevitt said. “I spent the past three years becoming better known, building trust and name recognition across District 3. I believe my candidacy has touched voters and their financial support will sustain us beyond the August primary election. The incumbent is well-financed and I don’t minimize that. It will take a sizable war chest to win.”
He said he can replenish his war chest if necessary but does hope to ramp up fundraising efforts and earn more individual contributions.
The next federal deadline for congressional candidates is July 15. Senate candidates file paper records, according to the FEC, meaning reports for Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Republican challenger Joey Gibson will not be available to view until next week or later.