Van Ostern, Gatsas lead in campaign cash in N.H. governor’s race

  • Colin Van Ostern AP file

Monitor staff
Published: 8/24/2016 11:46:46 PM

Democratic candidate Colin Van Ostern leads the governor’s race so far when it comes to campaign fundraising.

All seven candidates in the race for governor released their fundraising numbers Wednesday, showing Van Ostern and Republican Ted Gatsas far ahead of their competitors. Van Ostern, an Executive Councilor from Concord, has raised about $1.08 million so far, including $62,000 that was rolled over from a previous executive council race.

Gatsas, the mayor of Manchester, was not far behind at $1.04 million, including a $75,000 personal loan listed in his filings.

Both men also had the largest number of people donating to their campaign, with Van Ostern listing 2,937 contributors and Gatsas with 730.

Both campaigns sent out press releases pointing to their strong numbers Wednesday.

Van Ostern’s campaign was quick to point to the fundraising numbers as an indication of a grassroots effort that’s paying off.

“Unlike other candidates for governor, we’re proud that our campaign is fueled by grassroots supporters and not underwritten by personal wealth,” campaign manager Pat Devney said in a statement. “This report confirms that we will have the resources necessary to be successful this fall.”

Gatsas campaign officials had a similar message going into the final weeks before the primary.

“Ted’s impressive fundraising is another indication of his growing support and shows that he is gaining momentum in the final weeks before the primary,” said Gatsas’s Campaign Finance Chairman Andy Crews in a statement. “The race is coming down to a two-person race, and Ted continues to show voters why he is the only Republican candidate who has the organization and the ideas needed to finally take back the governorship.”

However, Republican state Rep. Frank Edelblut of Wilton has the most cash on hand at this point, with $587,000. Van Ostern currently has about $470,000 cash on hand, according to his filings while Gatsas has about $550,000.

Edelblut is largely self-funding his campaign; out of a total of $830,000 in over campaign contributions, $750,000 comes from him.

Among the seven candidates, Democrat Steve Marchand has the smallest amount of cash on hand. He’s raised $101,799 and has so far spent $81,183.

Marchand’s filing has another $26,250 listed in pending expenditures, putting his campaign in the red with three weeks to go until the primary.

Marchand did not list a number of campaign contributors in his filing.

Republican Chris Sununu, an executive councilor from Newfields, has raised $588,000 so far and has $223,635 in cash on hand. Sununu’s filings show that a little more than $25,000 of his money was donated by family members, including brother and former U.S. senator John E. Sununu and his father, former governor John H. Sununu.

Democrat Mark Connolly’s report shows $556,099 raised, which includes roughly $179,000 in personal loans. Connolly currently has about $126,534 cash on hand.

Meredith state Sen. Jeanie Forrester’s campaign shows $237,053 in contributions and $115,717 cash on hand.

The primary is Tuesday, Sept. 13.

(This article has been updated to reflect Van Ostern’s total number of contributors. A previous version listed the amount of contributors from June 22 to August 24.)

(Ella Nilsen can be reached at 369-3322, or on Twitter @ella_nilsen.)

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