Trump’s Picks Lag Cheney, GOP Incumbents in Fundraising
(Bloomberg) -- Three House Republicans targeted by former President Donald Trump raised more money in the third quarter than his hand-picked candidates to defeat them, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington were among the 10 House Republicans who infuriated Trump by voting against him during his second impeachment proceeding. So far, Republican donors haven’t followed him in backing their challengers.
Trump has yet to endorse candidates running against the other six Republican incumbents who voted to impeach him on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, but his vow to fight them has worried GOP officials. Republicans need to flip only a handful of seats to gain control of the House in the 2022 midterms, and weakening incumbents seeking re-election by funding primary challenges would complicate that task.
Another Republican who voted for impeachment, Representative Anthony Gonzalez, said in September that he wouldn’t seek re-election. His Trump-endorsed challenger, Max Miller, took in $695,000, including $500,000 of personal funds he loaned for his campaign in Ohio’s 16th congressional district. Miller also got a $5,000 contribution from Save America, Trump’s leadership PAC.
Though Trump’s committees had $102 million in the bank at the end of June, so far he’s done little to spread that wealth around. Save America, his leadership PAC, has channeled $5,000 to some incumbent Republican senators he’s endorsed, including John Boozman of Arkansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Tim Scott in South Carolina.
But some of the House candidates he’s backing had yet to see donations through the end of September.
They include Harriet Hageman, a Wyoming attorney who won Trump’s endorsement to take on Cheney, whose criticism of his role in the events of Jan. 6 has made her one of his top targets. Cheney is vice chair of the House select committee investigating the former president’s role in the riot, which has also earned his ire.
Hageman raised $301,921 in her first three weeks as a candidate, receiving maximum $2,900 donations from GOP mega donor Timothy Mellon, Lynn Friess, the widow of major Republican donor Foster Friess, and billionaire Peter Thiel.
Though Hageman has just launched her campaign, she’ll need to raise money faster to match Cheney, who’s topped $1.5 million each quarter, taking in $1.7 million in the most recent. She ended September with $3.7 million in the bank.
Cheney got $2,900 donations from billionaires Trevor Rees-Jones of Chief Oil & Gas and Patrick Ryan of Ryan Specialty Group LLC. Senator Mitt Romney and his wife Anne Romney also gave the top amount, as did Bain Capital’s Joshua Bekenstein, a major Democratic donor.
Herrera Beutler raised $523,591, spent $180,092 and ended September with $1.4 million cash on hand. Longtime GOP donors Rex Sinquefield and Terry Rowling were among her biggest contributors. She topped the $452,132 raised by U.S. Army veteran Joe Kent.
Upton raised $292,943, topping the $115,585 haul of Steve Carra, a Michigan state representative who earned Trump’s endorsement early in September. Upton’s $842,347 cash on hand is more than six times larger than Carra’s balance.
Neither Carra nor Kent got a donation from Save America through the end of September, their filings show.
Two Republican U.S. Senate candidates backed by Thiel raked in donations from Trump supporters and venture capitalists but lagged their opponents in fundraising, according to their filings.
Blake Masters, who’s running in Arizona and leads Thiel Capital and the Thiel Foundation, and Ohio venture capitalist and “Hillbilly Elegy” author JD Vanceboth reported raising more than $1 million in their initial quarter after announcing their candidacies in July.
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