Campaigns more closely split between home-grown and imported dollars

MORGANTOWN — While West Virginia’s U.S. Senate race was overwhelmingly funded by out-of-state dollars during the most recent reporting period, the two 1st District House campaigns are more closely split between home-grown and imported dollars.

Incumbent Republican David McKinley saw about 60.6 percent of his individual contributions come from out of state. Democrat Kendra Fershee’s out-of-state gifts made up about 39.4 percent of her total from individuals.

These figures don’t include PAC funds or independent expenditures by outside groups spent on behalf of the candidates. (Independent expenditures are filed separately and not part of this report.)

The numbers come from the candidates’ July quarterly reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, covering the period of April 19 through June 30 — spanning the weeks before the May 8 primary through the early portion of the general election period.


For the period, McKinley raised $163,970; $91,200 came from PACs and party committees, $72,770 came from individuals.

Looking at itemized donations where the name and residence of the donor is given, he received 34 gifts from 11 states totaling $44,100 and 37 West Virginia donations totaling $27,240.

His top giving states were: Ohio, 15 gifts totaling $21,900; Illinois, two gifts, $5,000; Florida, two gifts, $3,500.

For the period, McKinley spent $120,824.78, leaving a balance of $965,648.72 to enter the summer campaign.

His totals for the election cycle to date: $959,454.64 raised (he opened the year with an existing balance) and $437,170.82 spent.


Fershee’s total contributions for the period were $45,917.53 — all of it from individuals, none from PACs.

Of her itemized gifts, she received 27 from 11 states totaling $18,105 and 23 from West Virginia totaling $14,700.

Her biggest states: California, three gifts totaling $3,450; Florida, two gifts, $2,950; New Hampshire and Texas, one each at $2,700; Michigan, seven gifts, $1,550.

During the period, she spent $27,473.76, leaving a balance of $$32,507.84.

Her totals for the cycle: $105,630.26 raised, $80,253.09 spent

Some perspective

WVU geography professor Ken Martis, whose specialties include post-election analysis of Congressional and presidential elections, offered some thoughts on McKinley’s lead in fundraising.

The Dominion Post asked Martis if Fershee might ride the Bernie Sanders wave. In the primary, progressive Fershee handily defeated her better-funded, establishment opponent Ralph Baxter.

Martis doesn’t think that will translate to the primary.

Martis said McKinley has done a good job as a politician. He communicates with his constituents and looks out for his district.

“I think he’s going to be really, really hard to beat.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee knows what districts it wants to target, he said, and this one isn’t a priority.

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