With voting in the state’s Aug. 7 primary set to begin later this week, Southwest Washington Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler continues to hold a commanding fundraising lead over her opponents. But a fresh batch of campaign finance reports suggests the four-term incumbent is facing her toughest re-election battle yet.
Herrera Beutler led all six of her challengers in the 3rd Congressional District with $454,000 in total contributions in the second quarter of the year. First-time candidate Carolyn Long led all candidates with $304,000 in individual contributions over the same period.
Herrera Beutler, a Clark County Republican, finished June with just over $1 million cash-on-hand after spending nearly $221,000 on campaign expenses.
She raised nearly $250,000 from individual donors, and took another $198,000 from political action committees, according to her second-quarter filing with the Federal Election Commission.
Long, a Washington State University Vancouver professor, finished first among Democrats with $326,000 in total contributions. She finished the quarter with $326,000 cash-on-hand after spending $176,000 on campaign activities.
Long also accepted $19,000 from political action committees aligned with labor unions. With $606,000 in total receipts this election cycle, Long has already raised more money than any Democrat in the 3rd District since Herrera Beutler was first elected to Congress in 2010.
“Our strong grassroots campaign, more than the incumbent or any of the other challengers, has the support of the people of Southwest Washington,” Long said Monday in a statement. “But it’s not just about money. Hundreds of people throughout Southwest Washington are giving up their afternoons, evenings, and weekends to volunteer their time and energy, because they are hungry for change and are tired of asking, ‘Where’s Jaime?’ on the issues that matter most to them.”
David McDevitt, a Vancouver businessman and licensed attorney, raised a little over $4,500 in individual contributions, but he led all Democrats with $681,000 cash-on-hand. The second-time candidate has loaned his campaign $700,000 so far while spending just $50,000 this election cycle. McDevitt spent close to $30,000 last quarter.
“I’m looking forward to the general election and feel we have a strong chance of getting there with a warchest for the challenge ahead,” he told The Daily News.
Dorothy Gasque, an Iraq war veteran and prominent Bernie Sander supporter, raised nearly $20,000 in the second quarter. Virtually all of her campaign funds have come from individual donors.
Gasque finished the quarter with $23,000 cash-on-hand after spending nearly $13,000 on operating expenses. She has raised nearly $54,000 this election cycle.
Earl Bowerman, a Vancouver Republican, reported about $3,500 in individual contributions. He has also loaned his campaign $6,500. Bowerman finished the quarter with $4,700 in the bank after reporting nearly $5,500 in operating expenses. Bowerman was traveling Monday afternoon and unavailable for comment by press time.
Campaign finance data was unavailable for Martin Hash, a Democrat, and Michael Cortney, a Republican. The Vancouver-based candidates — who unexpectedly filed to run in May — were unavailable for comment Monday.
Long’s campaign also highlighted her second-quarter fundraising lead over Herrera Beutler with donors who gave $200 or less. Long raised nearly $84,000 from small donors from April to June, while Herrera Beutler raised $60,000, according to FEC data.
A Long spokesman noted that 95 percent of the money she has raised this election cycle has come from individual donors. About 65 percent of donations have come from within the 3rd District, the campaign said, and 90 percent of its total receipts are from within Washington state.
Meanwhile, Gasque said Monday that the campaign has received support from more than 2,000 individual donors, with donations averaging $12.30.
“We are getting our message to voters without spending one-third as much as David McDevitt and one-twentieth as much as Carolyn Long by being much more digital-savvy and relying on motivated, skilled volunteers,” she told The Daily News. “Instead of dialing donors for dollars, we’re knocking on doors.”
A Herrera Beutler spokesman said Monday that the campaign is confident the congresswoman has received “far more” contributions from Southwest Washington residents than any of her opponents this election cycle.
(Contributions under $200 are not itemized with a donor’s name, address and occupation, so it’s impossible to know for sure.)
“They recognize her local roots and her hard work on behalf of their economic security,” spokeswoman Angeline Riesterer said in a statement.