When I had Bozeman’s high-tech businessman Steve Daines on the talk show last week, he hinted at strong fundraising gains expected in his first fundraising report.
Those numbers are now out, showing impressive fundraising totals for Republican Senate Candidate Steve Daines. All this despite the lingering question of whether or not Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) will run for the US Senate seat held by freshman Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).
Daines, who announced his campaign on Nov. 13, reported raising $225,395 from 499 donors between Nov. 13 and Dec. 31.
“Cindy and I are grateful for the support we’ve seen across the state for our campaign. The willingness of so many Montanans to invest in my campaign for more jobs and less government is a clear message Montanans want fresh, conservative leadership in Washington, D.C.,” said Daines, a Bozeman businessman and Republican.
Click below to listen to full interview with Steve Daines this morning:
Click to Listen
Daines’ spokesman Jason Thielman added that Daines’ fund-raising total is more than four times the amount Sen. Jon Tester raised in his first financial reporting period in 2005.
“In the more than a dozen statewide Republican campaigns where I’ve served as treasurer, I’ve never seen such a strong start,” said Lorna Kuney.
This news comes on the heels of the announcement by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) that he will no longer seek re-election- another Democratic party stalwart in a neighboring state either calling it quits or losing a re-election fight.
I erred slightly on Montana’s CBS stations this morning when I broke this news, stating that this is an impressive number for Daines- considering the fact that he has only been a candidate for less than 6 months. As you can see above, these funds were raised in his first six weeks.
The Washington Post wondered who may be next to fall– all signs seem to point to Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) who, like Tester, barely won their seats in 2006 when Democrats had conditions in their favor. The winds are no longer at their backs, and apparently Senator Tester (much like Senator Webb) is having trouble fundraising.
Well connected liberal activist and blogger Jamee Greer in Helena sent this message via Twitter earlier this month:
It takes national $$ to win a race for Senate and I hear a certain MT Senator is feeling the effects of his bad vote on DREAM.
The Politico added this Thursday afternoon:
According to the latest campaign finance report, Tester had about $500,000 on hand for his reelection bid.
GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg, who has $594,000 on hand, is expected to make a decision on a Senate bid in the coming months.
Luckily for me, I did not have Rehberg and Tester’s cash on hand numbers on hand this morning when I went on the air for the talk show. However, I speculated that Rehberg had about $600K and Tester had about $500K. Good thing I had a beer with a trusted source who knows this type of stuff over the weekend.