Counting contributions from individuals, political action committees, political party campaign committees, tax-exempt organizations and corporate front groups, the money in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District contest has now passed the $5 million mark, a record for the race.
Democratic congressional candidate Denny Heck has spent more than twice as much as state Rep. Jaime Herrera, his Republican opponent, in their race for the open 3rd Congressional District seat, according to new Federal Election Commission reports that cover campaigns through Sept. 30.
Counting the $350,000 he donated to his campaign this year, Heck has raised $1.55 million and spent $1.14 million. Herrera has raised $1.025 million and spent $511,000.
As of Sept. 30, Herrera had slightly more cash on hand: about $514,000 to $412,000 for Heck.
Heck reported more campaign debt: $356,048 to $68,104 for Herrera.
Fundraising by the two campaigns picked up substantially in the third quarter. Herrera raised $613,910 in the three months ending Sept. 30; Heck raised $550,000 during that same period.
Herrera has raised a greater share of her money in the state of Washington than Heck, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks federal campaign finance data on its website OpenSecrets.org.
Heck received about 90 percent of his donations from within the state and 10 percent from out of state. Herrera received 98 percent of her contributions from within Washington and just 2 percent from outside the state.
Labor unions and single-issue organizations are the largest contributors to Heck’s campaign, while Herrera’s largest donors have been finance, insurance, real estate and construction companies.
But direct fundraising by the two campaigns is only a piece of the money picture in the hotly contested race to succeed U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, a Vancouver Democrat.
Both political campaign committees have been shoveling money into the race, with a big flush of cash in just the past week for a blizzard of negative TV ads.
The National Republican Congressional Campaign has spent a total of $953,551 on ads attacking Heck, including $309,771 in the past week, according to the FEC. That makes Washington’s 3rd District race the third-highest recipient of NRCC funds. In all, the committee has spent more than $31.4 million on its effort to regain the House majority.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent $642,287 on ads opposing Herrera, including $277,940 in the past week. The DCCC expects to spend at least $1 million on the race by Election Day.
The National Rifle Association has spent $74,398 in direct support of Herrera. National Right to Life has given Herrera’s campaign $2,214.
The American Future Fund, a tax-exempt nonprofit organization that advocates conservative, free-market principles, plans to spend $875,000 on ads opposing Heck by Election Day, according to the political website Politico. The Herrera campaign is among the top five beneficiaries of AFF spending.
Americans for Prosperity, an independent organization that is backed by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch and is not required to reveal its donors, has spent at least $282,000 on ads attacking Heck.