Congress, Elections, Government, State Government

Justice outpaces Mooney in third-quarter Senate campaign fundraising

MORGANTOWN — In the Republican race for U.S. Senate, Rep. Alex Mooney holds a slight edge over Gov. Jim Justice in terms of campaign account balances. But Justice — who led Mooney in a Justice campaign-funded poll 62%-23% — raised more than double Mooney’s take during the third quarter.

The figures come from the candidates’ third-quarter FEC reports, covering the period July 1-Sept. 30.

Mooney opened the period with $1,536,560.92. He raised $265,857.85 in contributions. Of that, $233,207.85 was from individual contributions and $32,650 from PACs. He also reported $47,675.19 in transfers from other committees.

He reported operating expenditures of $272,376.07, leaving an account balance of $1,578,014.79.

His totals for the election cycle were $1,342,356 raised, plus $981,558.71 in committee transfers, and $742,331.66 spent.

Justice opened with $808,765.22. He raised $585,159.34 in individual contributions and $17,500 from PACs. His total contributions were $602,659.34.

Justice spent $254,370.13, leaving an account balance of $1,167,356.93.

His election cycle totals were $1,537,695.01 raised and $380,640.58 spent.

A third GOP candidate, Chris Rose, of Morgantown, dropped out Aug. 21 to run instead for state Senate 2nd District. He had raised a total $11,075.30 and spent $14,987.13 before closing his federal account.

Mooney and Justice both aim to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who hasn’t yet declared his intentions regarding seeking reelection or possibly heading a third-party — No Labels — campaign for president.

Whatever he decides, his campaign account far exceeds Justice’s and Mooney’s combined. Manchin opened the third quarter with $10,789,594.70.

He raised $175,233.96 in individual contributions and $104,000 from PACs; his total contributions were $279,233.96, plus transfers of $343,180.45 from other committees.

His operating expenditures were $134,863.08, leaving an account balance of $11,348,921.53.

His election cycle totals were $9,623,652.21 raised, plus transfers of $1,259,072.09, and $1,977,063.79 spent.

Two other candidates who’ve filed with the FEC, Republican Zane Lawhorn and Democrat Zachary Shrewsbury, have no financial data reported.

Other factors

Here’s a look at their numbers from some other perspectives. First, where do their contributions come from?

Mooney’s top-contributor states are Florida, $188,785; Virginia, $130,875; California, $100,580; Maryland, $95,405; and Massachusetts, $60,360. West Virginia ranks sixth, with $58,505.

Justice’s fundraising is more homegrown. West Virginia ranks first, with $310,878. Rounding out the top six are Ohio, $104,550; New York, $60,410; Virginia, $44,208; Pennsylvania, $40,550; and Florida, $34,688. (Tennessee is a close seventh at $34,508.)

For Manchin, West Virginia comes in a lowly 15th, at $114,488. The top six are Texas, $1,874,122; Florida, $1,086,728; New York, $888,695; California, $744,726; Virginia, $310,003; and Colorado, $291,565. Illinois is a close seventh, at $291,075.

And between Illinois and West Virginia are Pennsylvania, Connecticut, D.C., Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maryland (at $138,759).

Second, independent expenditures also play an important role in campaigns. These are not contributions to candidates’ campaign accounts, but PAC spending to support or oppose certain candidates.

In this area, Mooney’s supporters are digging deep. The conservative Club for Growth PAC has spent $346,692.49 opposing Justice and $30,148.45 supporting Mooney.

The Senate Conservatives Fund has spent $63,130.21 supporting Mooney, while the More Jobs Less Government PAC has spent $25,549 supporting Justice.

Manchin also has his supporters and opposition. Supporting him are the UA Union Plumbers & Pipefitters Vote! PAC, $363,136; and Vote Blue Majority, $5,150. Opposing him are the No Excuses PAC, $3,650; and Vote Local Vote Blue PAC, $1,750.

Oddly, the Michigan-based Pressure PAC has both supported and opposed Manchin, spending $4,750 to promote him and $1,000 against him.


TWEET @DominionPostWV