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Campaign Monitor

Feltes has financial edge over Ardinger, reports show

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story has been updated to include the financial details of candidates Jerry Little in District 8 and Maureen Raiche Manning in District 16. The amount of cash on hand in state Sen. David Boutin’s report has also been corrected.

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Less than three weeks before the Democratic primary for state Senate District 15, Concord attorney Dan Feltes has outraised Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger by more than $25,000.

Yesterday was the first deadline for financial filings in this race. Ardinger has raised about $41,482 and spent roughly $20,418. Feltes reported about $67,374 raised and about $36,175 spent so far. The two will be on the primary ballot to replace outgoing Democrat Sen. Sylvia Larsen, who has held the seat for 20 years. The district includes Concord, Henniker, Hopkinton and Warner.

Republican Lydia Harman of Warner is also running in the general election, but she has not yet submitted a financial report. Only candidates who have spent more than $500 for the primary election were required to file by yesterday’s deadline.

Feltes said yesterday he appreciates the donors to his campaign.

“I’m incredibly grateful for all the financial support that our campaign has received, ranging from the far left to the far right of the political spectrum,” Feltes said.

“We’re going to do our best to continue to communicate our message about standing up for every voter in the district,” he added.

Ardinger said voters are asking about issues such as education and health care, not fundraising.

“I’m very happy with where I am right now, and I’m just going on doing what I’ve been doing,” she said. “And that is getting my message out and talking to voters.”

Feltes did not comment directly on the gap in the candidates’ fundraising numbers. Ardinger simply said she is comfortable with the amount of money she will be able to spend in the last few weeks of the primary campaign.

“We’re really not that far apart in terms of cash on hand,” Ardinger said.

According to yesterday’s filing, Feltes has about $32,982 on hand, and Ardinger has about $20,418.

Feltes’s financial edge could help him in the primary, said Dante Scala, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire.

“It’s not an overwhelming advantage, but it is a significant advantage. . . . Given the fact that the candidates are going to have similar positions on the issues, a lot of this will be about name ID, especially reaching outside Concord,” Scala said.

The candidates have both spent most of their money on mailings, campaign literature and yard signs. Feltes has also spent about $84 on Facebook ads.

“Feltes being ahead with spending, all other things being equal, is a good thing for him,” Scala said. “There’s no point in saving it for the general election because whoever wins this primary is going to have a fairly easy ride, most likely, through the general.”

Ardinger’s filing notes 128 donations from individuals and other groups. Her largest receipt is for $7,000 from the committee Larsen for Senate; the senator has endorsed Ardinger’s campaign from the start. She also received $1,000 from EMILY’s List, a national group that promotes pro-abortion rights Democratic women.

In Feltes’s filing, he lists 396 contributions from individuals and groups. His fundraising included $2,000 total from the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, as well as $1,000 donations each from the committee for Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, the Motor Vehicle PAC, the New Hampshire Realtors PAC, the New Hampshire Independent Pharmacy Association LLC, and the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 131.

About 35 percent of Ardinger’s money came from donors with addresses outside District 15; in Feltes’s filing, that percentage is about 37.

The candidates will file two more financial reports before the primary, which is Sept. 9.

“This (primary) is the whole ball game,” Scala said. “Because the district is drawn in such a way that it tilts very heavily Democratic, so all the action is now, between now and three weeks from now.”

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or mdoyle@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

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IN OTHER STATE SENATE RACES

District 8

Democrat state Rep. Linda Tanner: raised $30,871; spent $11,968; has $18,902 cash on hand.

Republican candidate Jerry Little: raised $46,126; spent $22,279; has $23,847 cash on hand.

Republican J.P. Marzullo: raised $12,165; spent $9,515; has $2,650 cash on hand.

District 16

Republican incumbent Sen. David Boutin: raised $155,010; spent $65,634; has $89,376 cash on hand.

Republican candidate Jane Cormier: raised $11,060; spent $4,572; has $6,487 cash on hand.

Democrat Maureen Raiche Manning: raised $3,185; spent $178; has $3,006 cash on hand.

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