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First financial filing: Hassan outraises Republican competition

Gov. Maggie Hassan’s re-election campaign has already raised more than $2 million, a sum greater than both of her Republican challengers combined.

The gubernatorial candidates’ first financial reports became available yesterday, providing insight into each of the campaigns’ financial health and how the candidates have spent money thus far. The start date of the filing period depended on when the candidate got into the race.

Hassan brought in nearly $2.1 million, the most money a gubernatorial candidate has raised – by the August deadline – in more than 10 years, according to her campaign. Between the beginning of 2013 and the filing date, the Hassan campaign spent almost $890,000 and has $1.2 million cash on hand.

Republican candidate Walt Havenstein’s campaign raised just less than $2 million by the filing deadline. A sizable portion of that sum – $1.47 million – is made up of loans that Havenstein gave the campaign himself. The most recent, a $1 million loan, Havenstein gave to his campaign last week. Other than personal loans, Havenstein’s campaign raised just more than $515,000 in donations, spent roughly $676,000 and now has $1.3 million cash on hand.

Andrew Hemingway, who faces Havenstein in the Sept. 9 Republican primary, raised just more than $100,000 by the deadline, $24,450 of which he gave to the campaign himself. His campaign spent $62,210 and has roughly $38,000 cash on hand.

It isn’t unusual for incumbents, like Hassan, to pull in bigger fundraising numbers than their challengers, said Wayne Lesperance, political scientist at New England College.

“What surprises me is it’s a pretty hefty amount. You hear about Hemingway and Havenstein doing fundraisers, you don’t hear that about Maggie Hassan,” Lesperance said. “By all accounts she is not actively campaigning.”

It also isn’t unusual for candidates to self-fund their campaigns. “Craig Benson did a decade ago, John Lynch did it, this isn’t an unusual maneuver,” said Dante Scala, associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire. “What will be interesting is how much of Havenstein’s loan he is going to have to spend, especially over the next three weeks (before the Republican primary), to hold off Hemingway.”

A WMUR Granite State Poll released yesterday shows that Hassan leads both Republican challengers by double-digit margins. In a face-off between Hassan and Havenstein, the survey shows 49 percent of likely voters would choose Hassan over 32 percent for Havenstein.

In a Hassan-Hemingway race, the survey showed 51 percent of likely voters would vote for Hassan, with 31 percent for Hemingway. The survey, which was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, had a 3.4 percent margin of error.

Hassan’s campaign has collected donations from 3,300 contributors, and half of the donors gave $100 or less, according to the campaign. Roughly $8,000 of her fundraising total is a balance transfer from Hassan’s 2012 political committee, according to the filing.

“I’m honored to receive the support of workers, families and businesses from every corner of New Hampshire for our efforts to bring people together across party lines to solve long-standing challenges and keep our economy moving in the right direction,” Hassan said in a statement released yesterday.

According to her 123-page filing, Hassan’s highest contribution came from EMILY’s List, a national group that promotes pro-abortion rights Democratic women, which gave her $50,000.

Other high-figure contributions included $16,000 from the Local Union 131 Volunteers PAC, $10,000 from the Service Employees International Union Committee on Political Education, $7,000 from the pharmaceutical company Astrazeneca, $7,000 from Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and $7,000 from Wal-Mart.

Michael Lynton, CEO and chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, contributed $7,000.

Roughly 75 of the donations outlined in Havenstein’s 23-page report came from New Hampshire and about 60 percent of them were donations less than $250, according to his campaign. Roughly 40 of the listed donors are employees at BAE Systems, where Havenstein previously worked as CEO.

Havenstien’s campaign said the fact that he has more cash on hand than Hassan is significant. “It shows we can win,” said campaign spokesman Henry Goodwin.

According to Hassan’s filing, which tracks campaign expenditures since December 2012, she has spent more than $160,000 on media buys. Hassan’s filing also shows she refunded the Local Union 131 Volunteers PAC $9,000 and returned $24,000 to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC, as ordered by the state attorney general’s office earlier this summer.

Havenstein has spent more than $76,000 on video production and roughly $244,600 on television airtime. He spent $20,000 on online advertising, roughly $13,500 on mailings and $23,000 on signs.

Hemingway’s filing did not detail specifically what his campaign spent money on. Although, many of the campaign’s payments were made to a San Francisco company Stripe, which, according to its website, is a “developer-friendly way to accept payments online and in mobile apps.”

Hemingway released a two-word statement following the filing deadline: “David Brat.” Brat is the libertarian who defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor earlier this year with a campaign that raised a fraction of the money Cantor’s campaign did.

(This post has been updated. Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or at amorris@cmonitor.com.)

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