Meet The Challengers Raising More Money Than Members of Congress

In a sign of anti-Washington sentiment, 19 upstarts raised more money in the fourth quarter than their better-financed opponents.

John Zangas, a furloughed worker, protests the government shutdown on Capitol Hill on October 2, 2013 in Washington, DC. 
National Journal
Josh Kraushaar
Feb. 3, 2014, 9:01 a.m.

At least 19 mem­bers of Con­gress were out­raised by out­side chal­lengers in the fourth quarter of 2013, an early sign of the anti-Wash­ing­ton sen­ti­ment suf­fus­ing the polit­ic­al en­vir­on­ment this year.

It’s typ­ic­ally very dif­fi­cult to out­raise sit­ting mem­bers of Con­gress, whose in­flu­ence and name iden­ti­fic­a­tion give them ready-made ac­cess to pro­spect­ive donors. And the de­clin­ing num­ber of swing dis­tricts makes it even harder for a chal­lenger to make their mark.

But even though the House looks highly un­likely to be in play for Demo­crats, many in­cum­bents aren’t pre­par­ing for their reelec­tion as ag­gress­ively as pos­sible.

The list in­cludes 12 Re­pub­lic­ans and sev­en Demo­crats, in­clud­ing many mem­bers fa­cing tough reelec­tion cam­paigns. New York Rep. Chris Gib­son, rep­res­ent­ing one of the most Demo­crat­ic dis­tricts held by a House Re­pub­lic­an, was nar­rowly out­raised by ven­ture cap­it­al­ist Sean Eldridge, the hus­band of The New Re­pub­lic own­er Chris Hughes. Rep. Mike Coff­man, R-Colo., brought in over $400,000, but former Col­or­ado House Speak­er An­drew Ro­man­off took in even more — $450,000. Cali­for­nia Re­pub­lic­an Gary Miller, the most vul­ner­able mem­ber of Con­gress in a gen­er­al elec­tion, was out­raised by two Demo­crat­ic op­pon­ents. Gwen Gra­ham, the daugh­ter of former Flor­ida Sen. Bob Gra­ham, came close to doub­ling the haul of GOP Rep. Steve South­er­land.

On the Demo­crat­ic side, Ari­zona Rep. Ron Barber barely de­feated re­tired Air Force col­on­el Martha Mc­Sally in 2012. Back for a re­match, she eas­ily out­raised him, $313,000 to $250,000. Eth­ic­ally-em­battled Rep. John Tier­ney, D-Mass., was out­raised by both his primary chal­lenger, Ir­aq war vet­er­an Seth Moulton, and his 2012 Re­pub­lic­an op­pon­ent Richard Ti­sei. Rep. Rick No­lan, D-Minn., who could be the only mem­ber of the class of 1974 left stand­ing, was out­raised by busi­ness­man Stew­art Mills.

There were also nu­mer­ous mem­bers of Con­gress who could face primary trouble, based on their quarterly re­ports. Ten­ness­ee GOP Rep. Scott Des­Jar­lais only brought in $18,000, a small frac­tion of the $146,000 his primary chal­lenger Jim Tracy raised. Cali­for­nia Demo­crat­ic Rep. Mike Honda, fa­cing an in­tra­party chal­lenge from Obama cam­paign staffer Ro Khanna, was badly out­raised, $402,000 to $251,000. Michigan fresh­man Re­pub­lic­an Kerry Bentivolio only raised $127,000, about half of what Re­pub­lic­an busi­ness­man Dave Trott brought in.

Oth­er not­able mem­bers of Con­gress who were out­raised in the fourth quarter: Cali­for­nia Rep. Dav­id Valadao, Geor­gia Rep. Hank John­son, Iowa Rep. Steve King, Michigan Rep. Dan Ben­ishek, North Car­o­lina Rep. Wal­ter Jones, New Hamp­shire Rep. Car­ol Shea-Port­er, New Mex­ico Rep. Steve Pearce, New York Rep. Tim Bish­op, and New York Rep. Tom Reed. Valadao and Ben­ishek are top Demo­crat­ic tar­gets, while Re­pub­lic­ans are eager to knock off Shea-Port­er and Bish­op.

What We're Following See More »
“CLINTON MUST BECOME THE NEXT PRESIDENT”
Bernie Sanders Seeks to Unite the Party
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Instead of his usual stump speech, Bernie Sanders tonight threw his support behind Hillary Clinton, providing a clear contrast between Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump on the many issues he used to discuss in his campaign stump speeches. Sanders spoke glowingly about the presumptive Democratic nominee, lauding her work as first lady and as a strong advocate for women and the poor. “We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor,” he said. “Hillary Clinton will make a great president, and I am proud to stand with her tonight."

“MUST NEVER BE PRESIDENT”
Elizabeth Warren Goes After Donald Trump
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a stark contrast from Michelle Obama's uplifting speech, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about the rigged system plaguing Americans before launching into a full-throated rebuke of GOP nominee Donald Trump. Trump is "a man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone," she claimed, before saying he "must never be president of the United States." She called him divisive and selfish, and said the American people won't accept his "hate-filled America." In addition to Trump, Warren went after the Republican Party as a whole. "To Republicans in Congress who said no, this November the American people are coming for you," she said.

FLOTUS OFFERS STRONG ENDORSEMENT OF CLINTON
Michelle Obama: “I Trust” Hillary Clinton
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"In this election, and every election, it's about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives," Michelle Obama said. "There is only one person who I trust with that responsibility … and that is our friend Hillary Clinton." In a personal and emotional speech, Michelle Obama spoke about the effect that angry oppositional rhetoric had on her children and how she chose to raise them. "When they go low, we go high," Obama said she told her children about dealing with bullies. Obama stayed mostly positive, but still offered a firm rebuke of Donald Trump, despite never once uttering his name. "The issues a president faces cannot be boiled down to 140 characters," she said.

SANDERS BACKER CONFRONTS STUBBORN SANDERS SUPPORTERS
Sarah Silverman to Bernie or Bust: “You’re Being Ridiculous”
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Many Bernie Sanders delegates have spent much of the first day of the Democratic National Convention resisting unity, booing at mentions of Hillary Clinton and often chanting "Bernie! Bernie!" Well, one of the most outspoken Bernie Sanders supporters just told them to take a seat. "To the Bernie-or-bust people: You're being ridiculous," said comedian Sarah Silverman in a brief appearance at the Convention, minutes after saying that she would proudly support Hillary Clinton for president.

‘INEXCUSABLE REMARKS’
DNC Formally Apologizes to Bernie Sanders
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."

Source:
×