TX, SC, ME, CO, AZ & GA-Sen: Democratic Senate Candidates Are Raking In Big Fundraising Bucks

I figured we could all use some good news here so I wanted to spread the word. First, here’s some very encouraging news out of Texas yesterday:

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And here’s some big news today out of South Carolina:

Democrat Jaime Harrison has raised $1.5 million for his bid to oust Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) next year, a sizable haul for a candidate who announced his campaign about a month ago.

Harrison, a Democratic National Committee official and former chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, confirmed the second-quarter total to The Hill. Roughly $1.3 million was raised in the second quarter of 2019.

In a subsequent email to reporters, Harrison’s campaign said the fundraising haul came from more than 60,000 contributions, including 57,100 in the second quarter. The average donation size was $26.

Candidates for federal office have until July 15 to report their second quarter fundraising totals to the Federal Election Commission.

Harrison announced his challenge to Graham in the final days of May, and has said it could take about $10 million to defeat the three-term incumbent. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is backing Harrison’s bid.

And here’s some more good news today out of Maine:

Sara Gideon, the Democratic Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, said she raised more than $1 million in the first week of her campaign to challenge incumbent Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Gideon’s fundraising included donations from more than 2,000 residents across the state and 97 percent of contributions were $100 or less, her campaign said.

“Our campaign is about the idea that if you listen and if you’re willing to work with others, it’s still possible to get things done – and I am so grateful to the supporters who are joining us to make this a reality in the U.S. Senate,” Gideon said in a statement.

Gideon is the highest-profile Democrat to enter the Maine Senate race so far.

The election is a prime target for Democrats looking to flip Senate seats in 2020, after Collins vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who faced allegations of sexual misconduct and rape, prompted an effort to recruit challengers.

And in Colorado, there’s a crowded primary for the Democratic nominee to take on U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R. CO) but Democrats are raising serious money there as well:

Democrat Mike Johnston plans to report his campaign for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat brought in $1.6 million through the end of the second quarter, cementing a solid fundraising lead among the 10 Democrats hoping to unseat Republican Cory Gardner.

The former two-term state senator from Denver has raised a total of $3.4 million since launching his campaign in January, with donations from residents of each of Colorado's 64 counties, his campaign said Monday.

While at least one other Democrat running in the 2020 primary has cracked seven figures in contributions — former diplomat Dan Baer said Monday he plans to report $1.35 million in receipts since he got in the race — none of Johnston's primary rivals are expected to report raising anything approaching his total.

Gardner, who is seeking a second term, raised $2 million through March and reported $3.4 million cash on hand at the end of the first quarter, but by late Monday hadn't released his second-quarter fundraising numbers.

To be fair, Baer and Johnston are the only ones in the primary to release their fundraising numbers but this is still very encouraging.

And Mark Kelly (D. AZ) has been consistently posting big fundraising numbers. We don’t know yet what he’s raised this past quarter but he had a very big last quarter in April:

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly raised more than $4 million during his first fundraising haul for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 Senate race, his campaign told The Arizona Republic.

Despite being a first-time Democratic contender, Kelly's strong fundraising likely reflects his celebrity as an astronaut, his national profile as a gun-control activist and his high-profile marriage to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011.

Kelly's campaign said more than a quarter of the total raised since Kelly's Feb. 12 campaign launch came from Arizona donors. All told, 58,000 contributions accounted for the $4 million and the overwhelming majority were from donations amounting to $100 or less.

And in Georgia, Teresa Tomlinson’s (D. GA) first campaign ad helped generate a lot of money the day it went live:

Teresa Tomlinson officially launched her 2020 U.S. Senate bid with an impressive showing of grassroots support in the run up to today’s announcement. In a video (click link to view) released by her campaign, she explained her sense of urgency about why voters must turn Georgia blue if they want government to work for them.

In discussing her successful leadership as Mayor of Columbus, GA, Tomlinson states: “It’s time to bring this same smart, pragmatic, effective government to Washington D.C. – without all the crazy and the mean. We don’t have to rip children from their parents’ arms in order to have a strong immigration system. We don’t have to wage tariff wars on our farmers in order to solve global trade challenges. We don’t have to play a game of political ego with healthcare in order to create a financial infrastructure through which families can thrive.”

Drawing inspiration from Georgians of every region, who daily put their shoulders to the wheel of community, Tomlinson states that she is committed to making sure the government makes a positive difference in their lives, “The key to whether government is a tool for opportunity, or a weight around your neck, is who is running it. I’m running for the U.S. Senate in 2020 because I have spent my life ensuring that government makes a positive difference in yours.”

Bolstering her case for the Democratic nomination, the campaign reports hitting $265,000 within 12 hours of fellow Democrat Stacey Abrams’ announcement that she would pass on a Senate bid and appears on track to surpass $300,000 today. In total, Tomlinson has received nearly 800 donations, 74% of which are from Georgia supporters.

Edana Walker—formerly Finance Director and Deputy Campaign Manager to Stacey Abrams—will serve as Finance Director for #TeamTomlinson. Walker projected higher totals in the coming weeks.

I’ll be curious to see what the fundraising numbers out of North Carolina and Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins (D. MT) and Theresa Greenfield’s (D. IA) Senate fundraising numbers this quarter. Of course, we have a long way to go until November and while fundraising isn’t the only factor to consider, it’s still encouraging to see this momentum come into play focusing on retaking the U.S. Senate. In the meantime, let’s keep up the momentum and help these Democrats take back the U.S. Senate:

Jaime Harrison (South Carolina)

Sara Gideon (Maine)

Teresa Tomlinson (Georgia)

Mark Kelly (Arizona)

MJ Hegar (Texas)

Wilmot Collins (Montana)

Theresa Greenfield (Iowa)

Colorado:

Dan Baer

Lorena Garcia

Mike Johnston

Alice Madden

Andrew Romanoff

John F. Walsh

North Carolina:

Cal Cunningham for U.S. Senate

Eric Mansfield for U.S. Senate

Erica Smith for U.S. Senate