Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fifth District Fundraising Update

The latest FEC reports for candidates in the 5th congressional district Republican primary are now available online, and it doesn't look like the worst economy in decades is hurting the ability of candidates to raise money. Ice Miller lobbyist Luke Messer raised the most money. He maxed out contributions from the usual suspects of attorneys, lobbysts and downtown elites. He raised $205,000 during the quarter compared to $152,000 by incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Burton. A third of Burton's money came from political action committees, while the challengers relied almost exclusively on individual contributions. Many of Burton's individual contributors noticeably live out-of-state. Burton has $418,000 on hand, more than any of the candidates, compared to $175,000 for Messer.

Rep. Mike Murphy demonstrated the advantage a lawmaker has raising campaign contributions while casting votes on important state matters. He pulled down $62,000, well below Messer's total, but many of his contributors maxed out their contributions. He now has $81,000 on hand. Dr. John McGoff, the candidate who came close to knocking off Burton last year, raised $39,000 compared to Brose McVey's $26,000. McGoff was the last to jump into the race and he raised all of his money in a short 20-day period. McVey emphasised in a press release on his new numbers the fact that he raised money from 385 individual donors, 93% of which came from Indiana and 70% from contributors within the 5th District. He boasts raising 20% of his money online.

It is worth noting that several individual contributors showed up on more than one candidate's FEC report, suggesting that some folks are hedging their bets, including Barnes & Thornburg. Although Burton's daughter, an attorney, works for the firm, and the firm's PAC contributed to Burton, a number of the firm's lawyers show up on Luke Messer's contributor list.

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