Top savers well-poised for future runs


Two of the House's top savers, per data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) could be in the running for Senate seats.

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Pallone ran for then-Sen. Jon Corzine's seat in 2005, when he retired to run for Governor, but ultimately dropped out of the race and endorsed eventual winner Sen. Bob Mendendez (D). He's a possible contender for Sen. Frank Lautenberg's (D-N.J.) seat, if the 88-year-old senator decides to retire.

Pallone currently has the most cash left over of any other member, with more than $3.4 million cash on hand, according the most recent FEC reports. The sum would position him comfortably for a primary run going into 2014, though a recent poll put him last among two other top Democrats rumored to be considering a run, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. Rob Andrews.

Markey has more than $3.14 million cash on hand left over, slightly less than Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), with $3.15 million left over.

The Dean of the Massachusetts delegation would be a top contender in a special election to fill Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) seat, if Kerry is appointed by President Obama to Secretary of State.

That outcome looks ever more likely, as UN Ambassador Susan Rice removed herself from consideration for the position on Thursday, paving the way for Kerry's nomination.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who was defeated this cycle by Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren (D), is the most likely Republican contender, but two other Massachusetts Democratic Reps. — Michael Capuano, who finished second in the 2010 Democratic primary to fill deceased Sen. Edward Kennedy's (D) seat, and Stephen Lynch — could also run.

Markey's leftover cash, however, could make him well-poised for a contest that Massachusetts political strategists say would cost a candidate millions to clear a primary alone.

Markey, Capuano and Lynch have all expressed interest in running in a special election.

Schwartz's millions are an indication of why she was recently tapped by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to serve as their national finance chairwoman, a position that will require her to help Democrats raise millions going into a midterm election year where they're looking for pick-up opportunities in an unfavorable House landscape.

On the Senate side, Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) come out as the top savers. Corker has more than $6.1 million left over, while Sanders has over $4.2 million and Barrasso has over $2.6 million.

All three won reelection this past cycle by large double-digit margins, and their cash remaining leaves them well-poised to offer a helping hand to colleagues, or to start their next cycles off with a solid cushion. Corker, in particular, could be called upon to help fellow Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is up for reelection in 2014 and could potentially receive a primary challenge from the Right.