Embattled Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., raised $230,000 this quarter -- nearly four times the amount he raised at this point in the 2010 election cycle, a signal that he is not yet ready to give up his 1st District seat despite growing primary opposition.
Wu's campaign has nearly $343,000 cash on hand, according to disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday. That puts him far ahead of a growing field of Democratic primary challengers. State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who has already reported a number of Democratic endorsements in the race, raised $195,000 and had $124,000 in the bank at the end of June.
Wu has been largely silent on the campaign trail this cycle, showing caution following reports earlier this year of his erratic behavior leading up the last year's midterm elections, along with the subsequent exodus of many of his staff members. Despite his quiet showing so far and 50 percent disapproval rating statewide, according to a recent automated survey from Public Policy Polling, Wu continues to outpace his own 2010 fundraising, nearly quadrupling the $60,400 he reported in the second quarter of 2009.
Wu owes much of his fundraising success this cycle to outside out-of-state donors, who made up more than two-thirds of the individual contributors these past three months. Only 38 of 143 individual donors to his campaign this quarter live in Oregon. As the first Chinese-American ever elected to the House, Wu enjoys significant support from the Asian-American community nationwide, who account for much of his fundraising so far this cycle.
Wu has said that he has sought treatment for the mental health problems he had last year, but continues to face criticism. As a result, he is gearing up for the most significant challenge to his reelection in his six terms. His two announced primary challengers so far -- Avakian and state Rep. Brad Witt, cited the congressman's questionable mental state when announcing their candidacies. Democratic State Sen. Suzanne Bonamici has also expressed interest in running for the seat. Her husband served as a longtime personal attorney to Wu, but quit in April when his wife announced she was seriously considering a bid. But, there's also a growing possibility that if Wu gets several primary challengers, the group could split the anti-Wu vote, allowing the incumbent Democrat to win another term.