Garcia, Lambert fight for funds in the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary
Candidates for the 2nd Congressional District raised more than $800,000 in the second quarter of 2014, according to financial reports released yesterday by the Federal Elections Commission.
More than half of that money went to incumbent Democrat Rep. Annie Kuster of Hopkinton.
Three Republicans are vying in a primary scheduled for Sept. 9 to face Kuster in the general election this fall.
Of the Republicans, state Rep. Marilinda Garcia of Salem raised the most during the quarter, with $135,500.
Former state senator Gary Lambert of Nashua raised $103,000 this quarter, but of the three Republicans in the race, he has by far the most cash on hand, with $305,900 in the bank. Garcia has about $124,000 cash on hand.
The campaign for former state representative Jim Lawrence of Hudson has $22,600 cash on hand, mostly from a $25,000 loan he gave to himself.
Lawrence announced his campaign with less than three weeks until the end of the filing period. His campaign raised $5,227 and spent $7,600. More than half of the campaign’s spending – $4,500 – went to WMUR for a television spot.
Lawrence didn’t raise any money from political action committees during the second quarter. Of the five people who gave at least $250, only one, Neil Fineman of Pelham, lives in the district.
Garcia spent more than $69,500 during the quarter, including $3,900 on airfare and travel expenses.
Lambert spent $56,934 in the second quarter.
Garcia raised $13,700 from political action committees this quarter, including $2,600 from the Koch Industries Political Action Committee, $2,500 from the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List and $1,000 from for-profit college management group Bridgepoint Education, among others.
The Choice in Health Care Committee gave Garcia $1,000 in the quarter. The same committee gave Lambert $1,000 last fall.
This past quarter, Lambert raised $5,000 from one political action group, the lobbying arm of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Garcia has been endorsed by the Club for Growth and highlighted by the national Republican Party as a rising star. “But so far, it doesn’t seem that the national publicity Garcia has gotten is paying off,” said Dante Scala, associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire.
The question of whether those and other well-funded conservative groups such as Americans for Prosperity will advertise for her or against Lambert could tip the scales regardless of how much Lambert raises on his own, Scala said.
“On paper, there’s a big advantage for Lambert right now. . . . Her numbers right now don’t speak of someone who would be recognized as a quality candidate. Outside groups have to decide they agree with her that she’s more conservative, and also decide do they think she can win in the general election. Is it worth the risk?”
At least one recognizable donor, state Rep. Dan McGuire of Epsom, said he believes Garcia is worth investing in. He donated $600 to her primary campaign and $900 to her general election fund.
Other notable names and numbers in the filings, released yesterday:
∎ Susan Duprey, a prominent Republican activist from Concord and chief of staff for Ann Romney during Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, donated $250 to Garcia’s campaign. Her husband, real estate developer and Republican National Committee member Steve Duprey, has not endorsed a candidate in this primary.
∎ State Sen. Bob Odell of New London, who is not running for re-election, has donated $1,500 to Lambert’s campaign, including $500 in the quarter.
∎ Foster Friess, a prominent Republican activist from Wyoming, donated $1,000 to Garcia’s campaign. Friess was in the national spotlight in 2012 for bankrolling Rick Santorum’s attempt to win the Republican presidential nomination. He later joked that women should hold aspirin between their knees for an inexpensive form of birth control.
∎ Barbra Stresiand donated $750 to Kuster’s campaign. Kuster raised $384,000 from individuals and another $181,000 from political action committees.
(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)