Kuster takes in another $400,000 at end of 2017, adds to her campaign war chest

  • Rep. Ann Kuster talks to members of the media in Concord on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

For the Monitor
Thursday, January 04, 2018

Congresswoman Annie Kuster announced Wednesday that she raised more than $400,000 during the final quarter of 2017, a figure four times greater than what was raised by a top challenger during the same period.

The three-term U.S. representative also reported that she currently has more than $2.28 million cash on hand for her 2018 re-election campaign. The figures were first reported by the Monitor.

“I’m humbled by the support I’ve received from so many people across New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District,” the Hopkinton Democrat said in a statement.

Kuster’s October-December fundraising haul was the third straight quarter that she’s brought in more than $400,000, sending her well on her way toward another successful fundraising cycle.

Kuster brought in more than $3 million in her 2016 re-election. But while she greatly outraised and outspent her GOP challenger, former state representative Jim Lawrence, her five-point election victory was smaller than expected.

The two declared Republican candidates in the race are state Rep. Steve Negron, a U.S. Air Force veteran and businessman from Nashua, and Dr. Stewart Levenson of Hopkinton, a former U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs regional director, who in 2017 was one of the top whistleblowers at the Manchester VA Medical Center.

Levenson’s campaign reported raising more than $100,000 in the fourth quarter, with around $300,000 in the bank.

Campaign cash figures are considered an important early barometer of a candidate’s clout and popularity, and of a campaign’s strength. Fundraising dollars can be used by a candidate to pay for staff, voter outreach, and ads.

Former WMUR political director and anchor Josh McElveen has said he is seriously considering a bid. He recently spent three days in Washington, D.C., meeting with GOP officials.

Republican sources said former state Rep. Lynne Blankenbeker may consider a run once her active duty in the U.S. Navy ends in January. And Lawrence told the Monitor in November that he was still deciding on whether to run again.

Kuster, who sits on the House Veterans Affairs and Agriculture Committees, was first elected to Congress in 2012. She’s a co-founder of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force.

In her statement, Kuster touted her bipartisan efforts in Congress, saying “I’ve consistently been successful in bringing together Republicans and Democrats to tackle the challenges we face and have used that approach to fight for the priorities important to New Hampshire families and small businesses.”

“I’m focused on continuing to work across the aisle to improve services and care for our veterans, grow our economy, expand access to healthcare, and fight the opioid epidemic,” she added.