Senate races

Senate races

Mourdock outraises Lugar in last quarter

Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock raised $875,000 in the last three months for his Senate campaign, more than double what he's brought in during any previous fundraising quarter and significantly more than Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) raised.

Lugar raised $820,000, a strong haul, and maintains a big cash advantage over Mourdock with $2.5 million in the bank to Mourdock's $430,000. But Mourdock's fundraising haul is the latest sign he has some momentum in the race.

Still, Mourdock will be outspent by the groups that are supporting him — in a big way. The Club for Growth has already spent more than $600,000 on the race, according to a recent Federal Election Commission filing, and the National Rifle Association is already into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On the other side, the American Action Network, which backs establishment Republicans, is spending more than a half-million dollars defending Lugar.


Bob Kerrey praises both parties in new ad for Nelson seat

Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) praised both Democrats and Republicans in a new ad for his Senate campaign, highlighting the delicate political path he is forging in a conservative-leaning state.

It's the second round of ads for Kerrey since he announced in February he would mount a fight to reclaim his old seat. Kerrey's campaign did not disclose any details about the ad buy.

"The Democrats are right to cut taxes for working people and raise them for high earners, while making healthcare more affordable," Kerrey says in the ad. "The Republicans are right about the need to cut regulatory costs and simplify the tax code to promote economic growth."

Kerrey says the problem with both parties is their refusal to vote for good ideas championed by the other party.

"It's good to be back," Kerrey says. "I sponsored this message because I'm not afraid to do what's right."


Rep. Flake tops $900,000, outraising Democratic rival

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) brought in $935,000 between January and March, exceeding the haul of his Democratic opponent in the race for retiring Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-Ariz.) seat.

Flake has more than $3 million in his war chest heading into April — almost three times what former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, the Democratic recruit, has in the bank. Carmona raised more than $800,000 during the first quarter of 2012, his first full quarter in the Senate race.

“President Obama and the Democrats are promising to spend millions of dollars in Arizona trying to convince voters to give them just a few more years to turn our economy around," Flake said in a statement. "But I’m confident that we’ll have the resources we need to communicate our better message of less government and economic freedom.”

Flake's primary opponent, businessman Wil Cardon, hasn't released his figures yet, but has already pumped more than $1 million of his own money into the campaign and made clear he has no qualms about dropping more.

The Hill rates this race as leaning Republican.


Don Stenberg launches first ad in race for Nelson seat in Nebraska

Nebraska state Treasurer Don Stenberg (R) launched the first television ad of his Senate campaign Wednesday, a 60-second bio-spot introducing him to voters and touting his fiscally conservative credentials.

Stenberg's campaign did not disclose the size of the buy, but said the ad would run statewide on cable.

"As a kid, I mowed lawns and detassled corn. It taught me the value of a dollar," Stenberg says in the ad. "That’s why, as your state treasurer, I’ve cut my budget by 13 percent and I ran the attorney general’s office on the third-smallest budget in the country."

Although not mentioning him by name, Stenberg also manages to squeeze in a dig at his main opponent in the primary, state Attorney General Jon Bruning (R).

"Unlike some other folks, I didn’t suddenly become a conservative just to run for office," he says.


Fundraising wrap-up: House challengers slow but steady

First-quarter fundraising numbers continued to roll out on Wednesday, and while there were few eye-popping figures, a number of Democratic House candidates showed steady progress towards having the money needed to win open seats or take out GOP incumbents. A few House Republican challengers also posted strong numbers.


Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) raised $1.6 million, bringing his total cash on hand to an impressive $9.5 million. He's considered the favorite over Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), who has a lot of catching up to do on fundraising.

Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) raised nearly $860,000 and has more than $3 million in the bank — a mediocre number for a sitting congressman from a wealthy state with an expensive media market. He's the front-runner in the Democratic primary against former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D) in the Democratic-leaning state.

Michigan businessman and conservative activist Clark Durant (R) raised $560,000 for his uphill Senate primary against former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.). He has $1.5 million, plenty to give Hoekstra headaches in the race.


Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) raised $300,000 and has $660,000 in the bank for her attempt to return to Congress. She's running in a redrawn toss-up northeastern Arizona district, and has gotten off to a strong start in this race.

Former Michigan state Rep. Gary McDowell (D) raised $270,000 and has $500,000 in the bank for his rematch against freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.) in a conservative-leaning northern Michigan district. Air time is cheap up there and it's not a wealthy district, making the haul a strong one.

Democrat Ami Bera raised $370,000 and has $1.1 million to take on Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). Bera outraised Lungren and lost narrowly in 2010, and is off to a strong fundraising start this year.

Democrat John Oceguera raised $370,000 and has $470,000 cash on hand for his run against Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) in a toss-up district outside Las Vegas.

Republican Ricky Gill raised more than $300,000 and didn't release his cash on hand in his race against Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) in the slightly Democratic-leaning district, a good number for the challenger.

Former Florida state Rep. Adam Hasner (R) raised $330,000 in his race against former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel (D) in a new Democratic-leaning district. He did not release his cash on hand number, although he'd recently dropped from the Senate to the House race after struggling to raise funds. Frankel has a hefty $1.8 million in the bank.

Democrat Pete Gallego raised $300,000 in his first fundraising quarter and has nearly that much in the bank. He's running against former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas) for the chance to take on Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco (R-Texas) in the Democratic-leaning district. Rodriguez only raised about $100,000, while Canseco raised about $390,000 and will have more than $800,000 cash on hand.

Colorado businessman Joe Coors raised a strong $450,000 in his uphill battle against Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) in a Democratic-leaning district outside of Denver.

Washington businessman Denny Heck raised $400,000 and has $930,000 in the bank for his second run for Congress in a new Democratic-leaning district in Olympia.

—This post was updated at 7:19 p.m.