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Welch Latest Candidate to Loan Himself Funds in Pennsylvania Welch Latest Candidate to Loan Himself Funds in Pennsylvania

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Welch Latest Candidate to Loan Himself Funds in Pennsylvania

Thinking about running for the Senate as a Republican in Pennsylvania? How much money do you have?

There is more than one candidate with an ability to reach into his own pocket in the race, in which no clear frontrunner has yet emerged.

Wealthy businessman Steve Welch announced on Tuesday that he loaned himself $1 million during the 4th quarter of 2011.

He's not the only candidate pouring personal money into his campaign. Tom Smith, another businessman, has already gone up on TV statewide and has self-funded to the tune of $750,000 through the end of the 3rd quarter of last year. Tim Burns, another businessman who ran in the 12th District in 2010 before launching his statewide bid last fall, demonstrated an ability to self-fund a portion of his special election bid.

When it comes to Welch flexing a little financial muscle at this point in time, there may be more to it than meets the eye, as PoliticsPA astutely observes:

As much or more than the innate value of the million dollars on hand is the optics: the Senate candidates are currently jockeying for support of Republican State Committee. The GOP will meet in regional caucuses starting this Saturday, where they will hold straw polls and discuss possible endorsements for the 2012 primary. A hefty Q4 is key to candidates seeking to prove, in time for the statewide meeting on Jan. 28, that they would be the most serious challenger to Sen. Bob Casey. Why else announce numbers on the same day most political media is focused on Iowa? (At least two other campaigns say they will also announce this week).

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