N.H. incumbent Democrats haul in the campaign cash

  • Subcommittee ranking member Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., listens to FBI Director Christopher Wray as he testifies during a hearing of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, May 7, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon

  • Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., is interviewed at the Valley News in West Lebanon, N.H., on Jan. 24, 2018. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Geoff Hansen

For the Monitor
Published: 7/15/2019 6:15:16 PM

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen brought in $1.9 million the past three months, as she builds up her war-chest for her 2020 re-election campaign.

Second Congressional District Rep. Annie Kuster – who also faces voters next year – hauled in $403,000 during the April-June second quarter of fundraising.

Kuster’s re-election campaign also announced that the Democrat from Hopkinton had $1.6 million cash on hand as of July 1.

The four-term congresswoman is known as a proficient fundraiser. She’s averaged raising $3.3 million in her 2012 election to Congress and her 2014, 2016, and 2018 re-election victories. Her second quarter haul this year is up from the $371,000 she brought in during the January-March period.

Former State Rep. Steve Negron of Nashua, who lost to Kuster in last year’s general election, is the only Republican so far to announce a 2020 bid. He raised $13,232 the past three months, and his campaign has $81,453 in the bank.

Campaign cash, along with polling, is an important metric to measure a candidate’s popularity and his or her campaign’s strength. Fundraising dollars can be used by campaigns to hire staff, build outreach efforts, travel and pay for ads.

New Hampshire’s other member of the U.S. House – Democratic freshman First District Rep. Chris Pappas of Manchester – raised $327,000 for the second quarter and had $574,000 cash on hand. Like Kuster and all members of the U.S. House, Pappas is also up for re-election next year.

The Democrats currently have a 235-197 advantage over Republicans in the 435-member House, with one independent and two vacancies.

Meanwhile, the second-quarter fundraising haul by Shaheen is significantly larger than the $1.44 million she raised during the first three months of the year.

The two-term senator’s campaign also reported on Monday that they had $2.8 million cash on hand. As a sign of her support, her staff noted that 95 percent of contributions were less than $250 and that more than 11,700 individuals donated to the campaign.

The campaign also said the Democrat from Madbury raised more money in the April-June fundraising period the year before an election than any U.S. Senate candidate in Granite State history. The previous record was Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who hauled in $1.49 million in the second quarter of 2015.

“This strong support shows that Granite Staters are fired up and ready to get to work on her re-election in 2020,” Shaheen campaign finance director Rachel Berger emphasized.

But Shaheen’s cash on hand total is lower than any other Senator facing a possible competitive re-election in 2020 – and she’s the only incumbent with less than $3 million currently in the bank.

Shaheen, who was elected governor in 1996 and re-elected in 1998 and 2000, is running for a third six-year term representing the Granite State in the Senate.

National Republicans see Shaheen’s seat in the battleground state of New Hampshire as a possible pickup in 2020 as they mostly try to defend their 53-47 majority in the Senate.

One Republican, retired Army brigadier general Don Bolduc of Stratham, is already in the race, announcing his bid late last month. Former New Hampshire Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien of Nashua’s expected to announce his candidacy on July 23. And Republican attorney Bryant Messner of Wolfeboro is also likely to jump into the GOP primary race.

New Hampshire’s other member of the U.S. Senate, first-term Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of Newfields, is not up for re-election until 2022.

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